Lyndon Baines Johnson's Proposal For Future Welfare

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President Lyndon Baines Johnson, John F. Kennedy’s former Vice President, had magnificent aspirations concerning the future welfare of the country. At the University of Michigan’s commencement speech, exactly six months after John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Texas, Johnson spoke of his vision of ‘The Great Society.’ The intent of this vision was to transform the state of the U.S. and build a better, tougher, stronger nation that would be a witness to its own substantial progress through its domestic programs. It would be a nation where the whole society was cared for; it would be a nation where segregation and racism ceased to exist; it would be a nation where all were welcomed to come. He understood the undertaking that awaited him in the…show more content…
In an attempt to alleviate financial strife due to medical-related bills, he implemented Medicare. The program was created to provide the geriatric community with a means to cover necessary health care costs. Prior to the program, there were a few amendments passed under Social Security to encourage governmental aid concerning medical assistance; the coalition of the amendments and program proved to be the most effective. Although the program benefitted the elderly and removed a factor that played into poverty, many people were hesitant with its implementation. A well-known adversary of Medicare was Ronald Reagan who felt “programs like Medicare would ‘invade every area of freedom in this country’” (Peters 104). However, Reagan would not be able to foresee the astounding impact that Medicare would have on the poverty levels of the…show more content…
During 1959, the year before the Amendment of 1960, the Bureau of Census indicated a 35.2% of poverty with those 65+ and 17% with those from the ages of 18-64. Roughly seven years later, in 1966, when Medicare was passed and provided for a year, it was shown that 28.5% of the elderly population lived in poverty whilst 10.5% of people from 18-64 lived in poverty (Excel Files tbl 3). From the seven years prior to Medicare being passed to the actual passing of the program, the rate of poverty in the elderly decreased 6.7%. Sometimes, it is difficult to gauge the progress and effectiveness of a program when looking at the course of a few years, however, one can witness trends over a couple decades. In the fifty years since Medicare has been passed, the rate of poverty in geriatrics has steadily decreased as the rate of poverty in those from 18-64 steadily increases. The data, as reported by the Bureau of Census in 2012, is in agreement with the trend stated above. According to the study, roughly 9.1% of geriatrics live in poverty, whereas 21.8% of 18-64 year olds live in poverty (2012 census figure 5). In the past five decades, the rate of poverty in those 65+ has decreased a massive 26.1%. The favorable consequences of Medicare are undeniable and amidst the concern for the elderly, there was a growing awareness regarding civil rights issues of the
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