Georges Benjamin

APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD. Photo by APHA

Note: This commentary was published in the print and online edition of Modern Healthcare. 

Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Social Security Act of 1965 establishing the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Much has been written about the future of Medicare; but Medicaid, now our nation’s largest public insurance program, has recently become a lightning rod for debate.

Originally designed as a voluntary social insurance program for low-income families with dependent children and disabled Americans, Medicaid now covers over 70 million people and is the critical component of our national healthcare and long-term care safety net. Along the way it has also become a laboratory for innovation; its flexible federal-state partnership has allowed states to tailor the program to their residents, using emerging models of care delivery to improve quality of care and manage costs.

Read the commentary in its entirety at Modern Healthcare.