In the year 1945, Harry Truman appealed to the Congress to establish a health insurance plan at a national level. This marked the beginning of a debate which continued for two decades with critics opposing the idea of "socialized medicine".
When Truman’s administration ended, he backed off from this idea of universal health assistance but the administrators of the Social Security system started taking the suggestion seriously and focused on the idea of health assistance for the benefit of the Social Security members.
In 1965, former President Lyndon Johnson legalized the health assistance programs, Medicare and Medicaid. Seven years later, this health assistance program also covered disabled individuals who are under 65 years old and also people who are in the last stages of renal disease. The assistance program also expanded to some of the chiropractic medical services, physical therapy and also speech therapy. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program was founded for both the elderly people and also the disabled individuals. The recipients of the SSI benefits automatically qualified for the Medicaid assistance program also.
In the year 1982, Hospice benefits were also added to the program but on a temporary basis. This became permanent only in 1986. In 1983, most federal civilian employees also became eligible for this assistance. The following year, the President, members of the Congress and also the federal judiciary were covered.
During the year 1988, the Medicare program went through a major overhauling of criteria and also included coverage assistance for prescriptions drugs, routine mammography and some catastrophic illnesses. The following year, the coverage expanded to add pap smears.
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