Happy Birthday, American single-payer!

Updated
LBJ prepares to sign Medicare into law. Former President Harry Truman hands him the pen, as VP Hubert Humphrey, Lady Bird Johnson and Bess Truman look on.
LBJ prepares to sign Medicare into law. Former President Harry Truman hands him the pen, as VP Hubert Humphrey, Lady Bird Johnson and Bess Truman look on.
National Archives

America’s single-payer health system — known to all of us as Medicare — turned 47 on Monday.

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law at the Truman Library in Missouri, where he presented 81-year-old former President Harry Truman with the first Medicare card.

Medicare Recipient #1

Former first lady Bess Truman got the second.

Medicare Recipient #2

What did Republican opponents, including George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, call Medicare in the early years? Socialized Medicine.

Ronald Reagan

Happy Birthday, American single-payer!

Updated