Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson waged a war on poverty to rebuild America as a “Great Society” where “no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled.”
Medicaid was enacted in 1965 as part of sweeping legislation to provide food, education, healthcare and jobs to millions in poverty. Once a benefit for poor single parents and their kids, Medicaid now covers mental illness, disabilities, the elderly and most recently, millions of the previously uninsured through Obamacare.
Unfortunately, Medicaid still suffers from the stigma of its reputation as a poor program for poor people, rarely earning respect from the middle-class or support from politicians looking to cut programs they think no one will complain about.
But, Medicaid has endured and grown. It now covers 25% of the population and 40% of children - including nearly 750,000 people in Connecticut.
Today, Medicaid is 50 and coming into its prime!
- Alan Weil - Editor-in-Chief, Health Affairs, leading health policy journal in the U.S. He was the former executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.
- Roderick Bremby - Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Social Services
- Ellen Andrews - Executive Director, Connecticut Health Policy Project
- Reverend Bonita Grubbs - Executive Director, Christian Community Action in New Haven
John Dankosky is the host of Where We Live. Catie Talarski was today's technical producer.