Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date



Medicare was established in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act. It was originally meant to eliminate the financial barriers to medical care for the aged. It has been called a form of national health insurance for persons age 65 and over. But it was deliberately designed in a manner to avoid modification of the fee-for-services system that is the basis of American Medical Care (Estes, 1979). As a result, inflation in the cost of care has seriously reduced financial benefits to the beneficiaries and in turn limited the access to medical care by the elderly.


Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, August 23, 1988 in Atlanta, GA.

Occasional Paper #15.


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