A celebration will be taking place at the August 17 meeting of Kalamazoo County Advocates for Senior Issues (KCASI): the 80th anniversary of Social Security and 50th birthday of Medicare. These programs have been life changing for millions of people throughout the years, though not without controversy.
Social Security was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression. It was a sweeping bill that produced programs such as unemployment compensation and public assistance as well as old age pensions.
Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965, with a declaration: “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine.” Medicare was originally conceived as a foundation of universal healthcare coverage. Although that expansion never occurred, in 1972 it was expanded to provide coverage to persons with permanent disabilities and end-stage renal disease.
The public is invited to join KCASI members to celebrate these momentous programs with cake and a program that looks at history; remembers why these programs are important and some thoughts for the future. The meeting, on Monday, Aug. 17, begins at 1:15 p.m. at Senior Services, 918 Jasper Street, Kalamazoo.