On July 30, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the laws that created Medicare and Medicaid (what we know as Medi-Cal in California). Medicare was initiated to serve older adults 65 and older, and Medicaid was started to help those families living below the poverty line.
Today, both Medicare and Medicaid are a part of many people’s lives. Medicaid pays for the delivery of half of all babies born in this country. It fills the gaps in health coverage that frequently occur in people’s lives and helps them transition through life events that would otherwise leave them uninsured. In Los Angeles County, Medi-Cal provides health care to nearly 2.7 million residents from all walks of life, with nearly two-thirds of them L.A. Care members.
Last year, Medicare covered 53.8 million people who worked and paid into the system. With the baby boomers aging, this number continues to increase. L.A. Care serves about 16,000 beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal through our Cal MediConnect product.
We are proud to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and celebrate this milestone anniversary of two transformational pieces of legislation that fuel our mission, vision and values. Debates about health care will never end. But in the past half century, both Medicare and Medicaid have proven their worth to the people they serve. As we stride forward, L.A. Care remains fully committed to providing our members covered by either program with the highest quality health care.