Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2005
Event: 40th Anniversary of the signing of the Medicare Bill into law
Contact: Holly Milledge, 913-707-1470

Truman Presidential Museum & Library marks the 40th Anniversary of the signing of the Medicare Bill

Independence, MO - July 30, 2005, is the 40th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the Medicare bill into law. The event occurred at the Harry S. Truman Library on July 30, 1965.

President and Mrs. Johnson traveled to Independence, MO on Air Force One joined by the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, 13 U.S. Senators, 19 U.S. Representatives and other officials for the historic signing. The Johnsons were met by President and Mrs. Truman at the Truman Library where they visited for some time before Johnson signed the Medicare Social Security Amendments into law during a ceremony in the Library's auditorium. Johnson gave the first souvenir pen from the signing to Bess Truman and the next to President Truman.

The Truman Presidential Library was selected as the site to sign the Medicare Bill into law because of President Truman's early and significant advocacy for a national health insurance program. The "seeds of compassion and duty" that led to Medicare's enactment were planted by Truman, Johnson proclaimed on the day of the signing. In order to further recognize Truman's continued advocacy for national health insurance, Johnson presented Truman and his wife with Medicare cards number one and two in 1966. Truman described Johnson's signing of the Medicare bill as a "profound personal experience for me."

Truman was the first president to publicly endorse a national health insurance program. Although Truman's request for a national health insurance plan was not fulfilled, he was able to draw attention to the country's health needs, have funds legislated to construct hospitals, expand medical aid to the needy, and provide funds for medical research.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of eleven Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Missouri. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon - 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Museum is also open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission to the museum's permanent exhibits and attractions, is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for children ages 6 to 18, and free for children 5 years and under. For more information on the Museum and programs, call (816)268-8200 or visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

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