President Lyndon Johnson hands former President Harry S. Truman a pen at the signing of the Medicare Bill, providing national health insurance for the elderly, as Lady Bird Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Bess Truman look on.
During the ceremony, at the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, July 30, 1965, Johnson presented Truman with the nation’s first Medicare card. President Johnson signed as a witness.
Johnson hailed Truman as the man who “planted the seeds of compassion and duty,” when he endorsed a national health care plan in 1945.
“It all started really with the man from Independence. And so, as it is fitting that we should, we have come back here to his home to complete what he began.”
Signing photo from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library; Truman’s card photo from the Social Security History Archives.