Friday, July 29, 2005
The Kaiser Family Foundation has a slick website to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the passage of Titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act - the Medicare and Medicaid laws. What caught my eye were video documentaries on the political history of the two programs, from the 1930s to the mid-1960s. The documentaries (one on Medicare, one on Medicaid, one on both) are quite well done, partly because of some compelling excerpts of interviews with some of the principal players in 1965. Of course, Wilbur Mills and LBJ are long gone, but there are still some terrific interviews with the president of the AMA at that time, Edward Annis; Joe Califano, a White House staffer at the time; LBJ's chief of staff, Jim Jones, and others. Best of all, longer (7- to 9-minute) interviews with each of these fellows are available on the same page.
I like the way these videos really makethe federal health care programs come alive. I plan to link to the videos in my web-based syllabus so that students can click on them at their leisure when we get to Medicare and Medicaid in my health law survey course. [twm]