Medicare and Medicaid at 50: America’s Entitlement Programs in the Age of Affordable Care

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June 23, 2015 — A special event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. For fifty years, Medicare and Medicaid have stood at the center of a contentious debate surrounding American government, citizenship, and health care entitlement. From their origins in the Great Society era to the current battles over the Affordable Care Act – how have these programs evolved and what impact have they had on American society?

This event was held in conjunction with the release of Medicare and Medicaid at 50: America’s Entitlement Programs in the Age of Affordable Care, edited by Alan B. Cohen, David C. Colby, Keith A. Wailoo, and Julian E. Zelizer. (Oxford University Press, June 23, 2015). This new volume of highly accessible essays examines Medicare and Medicaid from their origins as programs for the elderly and poor to their later role as a safety net for the middle class. Along the way, they have served as touchstones for heated debates about economics, social welfare, and the role of government.


• Keith Wailoo, Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs and Vice Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University (Moderator and Co-Editor)

• Jonathan Oberlander, Professor & Vice Chair, Social Medicine and Professor, Health Policy & Management, University of North Carolina School of Medicine & Theodore Marmor, Professor of Public Policy, Management, and Law, Yale University

• Jill Quadagno, Professor of Sociology and Mildred and Claude Pepper Eminent Scholar's Chair in Social Gerontology, Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, Florida State University

• Sara Rosenbaum, Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy and Chair of the Department of Health Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services

• Uwe Reinhardt, James Madison Professor of Political Economy, Princeton University

• Judy Feder, Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

View PowerPoint Presentations from this session:

This event is part of a larger year-long Academy celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Medicare & Medicaid. Learn more:

Medicare and Medicaid at 50: America's Entitlement Programs in the Age of Affordable Care


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