Medicare is a federal health insurance program administered by the US government. Signed into law on July 30, 1965 as Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare is the major health insurance for those over 65 years of age who are covered by the Social Security system, regardless of income. Amendments to the Social Security Act in 1972 extended the benefits to those who do not meet the criteria for the regular Social Security Program, but who are willing to pay a premium for coverage. In 1973 a further amendment extended benefits to those entitled to Social Security disability benefits or those who suffer from chronic renal disease requiring a kidney transplant or routine dialysis. Many beneficiaries who qualify for Medicare also receive Medicaid. In 2008, the Medicare program had 45 million enrollees, and that number is expected to grow to 78 million by 2030, making the program a major national healthcare expenditure. Citizenship and payment into the Social Security System...
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