Home | About | Donate

LBJ Launches Medicare: 'You Can't Treat Grandma This Way'


LBJ Launches Medicare: 'You Can't Treat Grandma This Way'

Bill Moyers

Watching the craziness in the Senate this week, as Mitch McConnell and the GOP’s zealots drove their clown car into a brick wall and yet another effort to take away health care coverage from millions crashed and burned, I thought back to a different turn of events.

It was 52 years ago this Sunday — July 30, 1965. Two American presidents celebrated the birth of Medicare, the most significant advance toward national health insurance in America’s history.


When will it be realized that the Republican Party has no place in a real democracy?

It is the party of the oligarchs confronting the people.


Thank you for the history lesson!

“There are always among us those predators who regard democracy as an obstacle to their avarice.”
We need to call them out when they rear their ugly head.
However, if they don’t like what people say about them, its up to them to change who they are.
A scoundrel is a scoundrel. If you don’t like being called out as a scoundrel, then don’t be one.


Fifty-two years since the masses have tasted true Representative Government.

We the People must reject any politician that will not endorse “Medicare for All” for starters.

The Greed of the 1% must be made public. All politicians must be identified by their economic/wealth status, for example if they are in the top 10%, 5%, 0.1%, etc., and how they have voted, their legislative history for example, the percentage of votes they supported giving majority of tax/income benefits to the top 1 percent as compared to the benefits extended to the middle and lower classes.

We must demand integrity and honesty in those who would be called “Representatives” of the People.


Bill; E. Howard Hunt said LBJ was behind the Kennedy hit and Jackie-O also believed that as well as she stated in her 1964 interview released when Caroline Kennedy agreed to release the interview in exchange for ABC not airing that Kennedy series with Katie Holmes…what’s your take on that? Or what about LBJ’s womanizing? He called Jackie after the assassination saying he wanted to come see her as he was like a horse penned in a corral - did LBJ have any girlfriends on the side?


Thank you Mr Moyer

What ever the course of human events we must include All demographics of our Country

We can not succeed Democrat against Republican or shall I say American against American

We’ve just got to say that, by God, you can’t treat grandma (or any American) this way.
She’s entitled and we promised it to her.

That is the meat of the subject at hand, There is the common ground against Avarice

We must include not exclude, we must extend the hand of associate not burn the bridge of union

There is a common ground and we will find it in mutual respect of our differences

Stop with the eccentricities find the common traits we must care for the other


Overlooked in this article are FDR’s, Truman’s and JFK’s intent that Medicare cover ALL Murkins, not just the over 65 crowd.

When LBJ signed the Medicare legislation he and Truman noted that the intent continued to be to expand it to cover ALL Murkins. With Saint Ron already the opposition’s point man at the time and little more than a year from winning his first term as California Governor, history has witnessed Medicare being constantly watered down rather than expaned.


Moyers: You now must know that your boss was an amoral criminal who murdered to get into the White House. At this late date how can you stomach the name of a man who launched a war based on a LIE that led to millions of deaths. Do you have a conscience ?


Yes, Medicare is a wonderful program. but it still has many limitations and flaws.
What we really need is Comprehensive, Single-payer health insurance covering all Americans, paid for by raising taxes (Progressive Income and Net Worth) on the wealthy and eliminating payroll taxes. Coverage would include: prescription drugs, dental care, eyeglasses, hearing aids, prostheses of all types, birth control, long-term care (at home or in a facility). There would be:limits on deductibles and out-of-pocket cost based on income, negotiated prices and fees…and no caps.
Let’s go all the way.
Stuart Dunn


First, honors to Bill Moyer for this history of the enactment of Medicare. It is so hard to find such histories. What is commonly known resembles LBJ came down from the mountain with two stone tablets engraved with the {Medicare Act, Medicaid Act, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act,…} (Apparently LBJ made multiple trips up and down that mountain.)

The fly in our experience is that the people who enacted it promised / projected that in 1970 Medicare would cost XXX millions of dollars, and it actually cost a significant factor y times that amount. And continues to do so. The system trustees implicitly inform us that it is not fiscally sustainable, and explicitly tell us that it will go bankrupt in a too soon year. BTW, payroll taxes for Medicare are not income-capped. Warren Buffett pays Medicare payroll taxes on the whole half-million salary he pays himself.

From what Bill Moyer says, LBJ anticipated the fiscal mess at the time, and shrugged and said “We’ll fix it later.” His heart was in an admirable place, but it wasn’t talking with his wallet, or worthy of the trust and responsibility he had for our wallets. Or should have had. (The words in the article about grandma’s SS lagging the cost of living reflects an earlier time before SS benefits were indexed to inflation.)


BTW, it seems worth reporting this, here:
Medicaid outcomes no better than no coverage at all W June 28 2017
"Avik Roy explained this perverse result in Forbes back in 2013.
. ‘Piles of studies have shown that people on Medicaid have health outcomes that are
no better, and often worse, than those with no insurance at all. …’ "

And the original article(s),
Why Medicaid is a Humanitarian Catastrophe

"The study evaluated 893,658 major surgical operations from around the country from 2003 to 2007, and normalized the results for age, gender, income, geographic region, operation, and 30 background diseases.

Despite all of these adjustments, surgical patients on Medicaid were nearly twice as likely to die before leaving the hospital than those with private insurance.

Patients on Medicare were 45% more likely to die than those with private insurance; the uninsured were 74% more likely; and Medicaid patients 93% more likely. That is to say, despite the fact that we will soon spend more than $500 billion a year on Medicaid, Medicaid beneficiaries, on average, fared worse than those with no insurance at all."

Avik Roy spends quite a length of the article discussing the criticism others have heaped on his earlier article. To me it reads as fair to the criticizers.

– And another Avik Roy article, 5-2-2013
Oregon Study: Medicaid ‘Had No Significant Effect’ On Health Outcomes vs. Being Uninsured