Medicare, a federally-sponsored single-payer national health insurance program, was enacted by The Social Security Act Amendments of 1965 and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 30, 1965.

The Amendments established both Medicare and Medicaid for seniors and poor Americans. Later, people with long-term disabilities, people suffering with end stage renal disease (ESRD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, were added to Medicare. Medicare is funded by a tax on employee wages and matched by employer contributions.