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04-20a The Great Society - The Great Society 20 April 2006...

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The Great Society 20 April 2006 Reading: Goodwin, LBJ and the American Dream , 170-250 Lyndon B. Johnson, “The Great Society”; Bruce Schulman, “Lyndon Baines Johnson and American Liberalism” in Chafe and Sitkoff, History of Our Time Lyndon Johnson comes into office and pushes through all of Kennedy’s policies Early 1964 announces a war on poverty August – Congress passes OEO Johnson reelected in November Early 1965 - decides the War on Poverty isn’t big enough. He creates the Great Society . The War on Poverty gets bundled under the War on Poverty. It becomes a piece of this larger Great Society Program. In terms of importance, perhaps the key components are two programs known as Medicare and Medicaid . Medicare is comprehensive health insurance for the elderly. When someone turns 65 years old, they are automatically eligible for Medicare which pays virtually all medical expenses, regardless of income. Medicare is efficient – 97% of the money going to patient care is used for patient care; only 3% goes to administrative things. Private health insurance is around 80-85%. It has been an enormous success. Medicaid is comprehensive health insurance for those below the poverty line. This is less successful because the state is required to kick in about 50%.
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