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Health Care Advocates Celebrate Medicare's Birthday

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The nation's health care program for seniors and the disabled turned 43 years old this summer. Some local doctors and public officials say that calls for a celebration. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.

President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law inside the Truman Library in 1965. Local health care advocates and public officials are gathering there today to celebrate the anniversary. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver is speaking at the event and says now's a good time to look back on Medicare, given the country's current health care situation.

Cleaver: As bad as things are, with 45 million Americans without insurance, I would like for people to just imagine what it would be like to not have Medicare.

Organizers say they've also put together a special historical re-enactment to recognize Harry Truman's role in passing the legislation. The Former President was at the bill's original signing, and received the very first Medicare Card.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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