Medicare and Medicaid: A Half-Century of Progress

July 30 marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing amendments to the Social Security Act that created Medicare and Medicaid. Over the past five decades, these two landmark programs have provided health care for millions of Americans. But they have also been changed and improved in ways that expand access, increase quality, and control costs. This process will continue in the years ahead.

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State Spending on Medicaid

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State Spending on Medicaid

A closer look at the fiscal impact of Medicaid on the states, including an analysis of cost trends and enrollment.

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Protecting Patients from Harm

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For 50 years, Medicare has helped ensure that senior citizens and those with disabilities have access to high-quality health care in the United States. Many Medicare recipients suffer from painful chronic conditions, such as arthritis, while others have experienced falls or surgeries. Most if not all of these patients look to their health care providers for pain relief.

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Inefficient Medicaid Spending for Dental Care

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Medicaid marks its 50th anniversary at the end of July. But for many of the approximately 70 million adults and children relying on the program, Medicaid coverage does not translate into being able to get oral health care. Medicaid resources could be spent more efficiently and health outcomes would improve if patients received dental care when they needed it.

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Spotlight on Mental Health

Medicaid Spending Growth
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A 50-state study of trends and drivers of cost that focuses on the impact of Medicaid on the states.

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A 50-state study of trends and drivers of cost that focuses on the impact of Medicaid on the states.

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies

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Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.