Medicare and Medicaid: A Half-Century of Progress

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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Agenda for America

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.

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States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.

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.

Learn more