A Brief History of State Sponsored Medicaid
University of Phoenix
Professor Cherie Skinner
From the beginning of its conception, Medicaid was designed as a federal-state welfare program to aid America’s poor and low income population. Over the last 30 years, it has grown into a major source of funding for America’s public assistance programs. It has gone from being primary coverage for low income families requiring cash assistance, to being a major source of health and Long Term Care for millions of low income families. In order to understand the importance of Medicaid to the elderly, poor and disabled, it is necessary to briefly view the history of Medicaid from its inception in 1965, thru its many years of legislative accomplishments, and finally up to its present day operation.
Before the Medicaid system was established, there was no federal health care assistance for the indigent and poor. Medical assistance for the poor was the responsibility of the state. Often health care for the poor was handled by physicians who either donated their time or accepted sliding fees, Non-profit or religious organizations and charity hospitals. The 1960 Kerr-Mills Act, which provided medical assistance for the aged was a precursor to Medicaid. Then in 1965, Congress added to the Kerr-Mills Act and under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, Congress signed into law what is now known as the Medicaid program. Under this law, Medicaid was expanded to provide health insurance and medical assistance to the blind, low income families with children and the disabled. In addition to providing health care insurance, this law was also designed to provide supplemental coverage for services not covered by Medicare and long-term care for the elderly and disabled. Under this law the state still retained public assistance responsibilities, but Medicaid coverage varied from state to state.
Since Medicaid’s inception, the federal government has made major...