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Happy Birthday, Medicare and Medicaid

By Rich Umbdenstock
July 17, 2015

Most Americans are too young to remember a time before Medicare and Medicaid – two programs that began to transform our health care system 50 years ago this month. It was an era when almost half of older Americans and millions of children and people with disabilities had no health care coverage at all. All that changed, for the better, half a century ago, putting our country one step closer to achieving the AHA’s vision of “a society of healthy communities, where all individuals reach their highest potential for health.” I hope you can join us in San Francisco next week for the American Hospital Association Health Forum Leadership Summit. We’ll focus on the future of health care, but we’ll also have a session on how Medicare and Medicaid came to be -- and what they have and have not accomplished.

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: Medicare, Coverage, Medicaid, access

Richard J. Umbdenstock became president and chief executive officer of the American Hospital Association (AHA) on January 1, 2007. Previously, he was the elected AHA Board Chair in 2006. The AHA leads, represents and serves more than 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, and 43,000 individual members.

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