Medicare was created 50 years ago as a health insurance program for seniors and people with disabilities. Today it has over 5.6 million enrollees in California alone. We’ll discuss how the entitlement program has changed the face of health care in America. And we’ll examine its accomplishments and ongoing challenges, including how to pay for the extra 10,000 baby boomers who become eligible for the program each day.

Medicare: 50 Years and Counting 31 July,2015forum

Laurence Baker, professor of health research and policy at Stanford University
Andrew Bindman, professor of medicine, health policy, epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF and director of the University of California Medicaid Research Institute
Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

  • gray steve


  • Kathryn Hopping

    When will the cap on income contributing to Social Security be raised? I love Medicare. It saved my life.

  • Doug F

    Let’s not forget to mention that there’s a federal law flatly prohibiting Medicare from negotiating ANY quantity discount for the 10s of billions of prescription drugs it buys annually. Why? Because a consensus of Republicans & some Democrats in Congress in ’03 caved in to lobbying & bribes, excuse me “campaign contributions,” from the big drug companies. The Obama administration continued the deal in secret White House bargaining with the companies, in exchange for their support in getting ObamaCare through Congress. And then the same Congresscritters complain that it’s too expensive.

  • Chris OConnell

    “Hey, Hey LBJ. How many seniors did you save today?” Thank you, President Johnson!

  • Another Mike

    One reason newly qualified doctors don’t open their own practices is that they have to work off their mountain of debt. The time and effort it takes to build up a practice is daunting, and taking a job seems a lot less risky.

  • Another Mike

    Traditionally the drug companies recover the cost of R&D from Americans, enabling everyone else to pay less.

  • Janet Prochazka

    RE: lack of dental coverage. For those of us born before flouridated water, paying out of pocket for my lousy, rotten teeth is a real hardship. I defer, defer, defer.

    • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

      Yes! It is amazing and wrong that dental coverage is often overlooked as the integral element of good health that it is.

      • Another Mike

        My father neglected his teeth for years. But then he needed surgery. As a prerequisite, he had to have all his teeth pulled, because they were all in a state of decay.

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    Thank you Forum & guests for helping celebrate the all-important public health care movement and tradition.

    One of the best innovations I’ve heard suggested is to share, habitually and up front, the cost of various health care choices with patients themselves.

    I have yet, however, to see a movement toward fuller up-front disclosure of costs to patients widely discussed or implemented.

    I think many people would willingly participate in less costly choices were they simply to be given the respect of knowing. They would also appreciate more what they are getting, and be more alert as citizens to correcting excesses.

    We could call the general principle here: “Empowerment of public intelligence through transparent disclosure.”

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