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Q: Political/Government Question ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Political/Government Question
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: diggero-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 25 May 2003 06:08 PDT
Expires: 24 Jun 2003 06:08 PDT
Question ID: 208405
Who established medicare and medicaid?  The Republican congress or the
Democrat congress?
Subject: Re: Political/Government Question
Answered By: funkywizard-ga on 25 May 2003 07:01 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, on their
page titled "History of Medicare and Medicaid" ( ), that events that led up
to the creation of Medicare and Medicaid streched over many years. I
am going to provide some of the highlights, and afterwards provide a
list of which party was in power in congree during each of these

The first mention in the article described above is that the techincal
committee on medical care was established in 1937.

It goes on to say that "Senator Robert Wagner introduced S.1620 to
create the National Health Act of 1939.", and goes on to describe his
bill as sounding very similar to medicare, but this particular bill
died in committee.

The next pertinant entry says that in November 19, 1945, "In a special
message to Congress, President Truman proposed a comprehensive,
prepaid medical insurance plan for all people through the Social
Security system."

After that, in "September 13, 1960 The Social Security Amendments of
1960 were enacted. The new law provided increased Federal grants to
States for medical care programs for aged people getting old-age
assistance if the increase was spent on vendor medical payments. In
addition, a new program (commonly referred to as "Kerr-Mills") of
Federal grants to States for vendor medical care programs for aged
people not on public assistance but unable to pay for needed medical
services was provided."

Then, in "March 23, 1965 The Committee on Ways and Means of the House
of Representatives approved a Bill to replace the Administration's
proposal with an unprecedented package of health benefits and Social
Security improvements. (The Mills Bill.)" In "April 8, 1965 The House
passed H. R. 6675, the "Mills Bill," without amendment."

At this point, the major portions of Medicare and Medicaid were in
place. But, in "1977 The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA)
was created to administer both the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
About 1,500 employees were transferred to HCFA from the Social
Security Administration."

The other changes that are outlined in this timeline seem to show the
expansion of the scope or cost of medicare and medicaid, but the
actual implementation of the system was done in the dates shown above.
If I had to pick one date from the above timeline to be the date of
creation of Medicare and Medicaid, it would be 1960 (marked with a
star below).

After a little looking, I found the congressional history for all the
congresses so far. It is available at, and
is where I draw the following information.

So, with that in mind, I will list who was in power in congress for
the years that were shown previously as important years for the
creation, debate, and expansion of medicare and medicaid.

For 1937:

74th Congress (1935-1937)
Party Divisions: 103 Republicans, 322 Democrats, 10 Independents 

Speaker of the House: 
Joseph W. Byrns (D-Tennessee) Died June 4, 1936. 
William B. Bankhead (D-Alabama) Elected June 4, 1936. 

Majority Leader: 
William B. Bankhead (D-Alabama) Elected Speaker June 4, 1936. 
John J. O’Connor (D-New York) 

For 1939:

75th Congress (1937-1939)

Total Membership: 435 Members, 2 Delegates
Party Divisions: 89 Republicans, 333 Democrats, 13 Independents 

Speaker of the House: 
William B. Bankhead (D-Alabama)

Majority Leader: 
Sam Rayburn (D-Texas) 

For 1945:

79th Congress (1945-1947)

Total Membership: 435 Members, 2 Delegates
Party Divisions: 190 Republicans, 243 Democrats, 2 Independents 

Speaker of the House: 
Sam Rayburn (D-Texas) 

Majority Leader: 
John W. McCormack (D-Massachusetts) 

For 1960* (apparently the most important year for the formation of

86th Congress (1959-1961)

Total Membership: 437 Members, 0 Delegates
Party Divisions: 153 Republicans, 283 Democrats 

Speaker of the House: 
Sam Rayburn (D-Texas) 

Majority Leader: 
John W. McCormack (D-Massachusetts) 

For 1965:

88th Congress (1963-1965)

Total Membership: 435 Members, 0 Delegates
Party Divisions: 176 Republicans, 258 Democrats 

Speaker of the House: 
John W. McCormack (D-Massachusetts) 

Majority Leader: 
Carl B. Albert (D-Oklahoma) 

For 1977:

94th Congress (1975-1977)

Total Membership: 435 Members, 4 Delegates
Party Divisions: 144 Republicans, 291 Democrats 

Speaker of the House: 
Carl B. Albert (D-Oklahoma) 

Majority Leader: 
Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. (D-Massachusetts) 

So, to sum things up, for each of the important years listed, Both the
speaker of the house and the majority leader were democrats, meaning
both houses of congress were controlled by democrats. Furthermore, the
majority of total congressional membership were democrats as well
during these years.

I hope this answers your question satisfactorily. If I left anything
unclear, please leave a request for clarification and I will be glad
to get back to you.

Search Strategy:

"history of medicare"

"which party controlled congress over time"

history of the united states congress
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