Medicare was signed into law on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. In attendance at the signing was President Harry S. Truman. Truman was then awarded the first Medicare card.
Medicare consisted of two parts at its inception. Part A provided hospital insurance coverage. Part B was an optional program that offered medical insurance. The deductible for Part A was $40 at the time. The premium to enroll in Part B was $3.
Medicare initially only covered people who were age 65 and older. In 1972, President Richard Nixon extended coverage to people under 65 who had end-stage renal disease or long-term disabilities that prevented them from working.