Bill Moyers On Working With LBJ To Pass Medicare 52 Years Ago


This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. The failure of the latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act coincided with the 52nd anniversary of the passage of Medicare and Medicaid. My guest Bill Moyers has written a new article about how President Lyndon Johnson coaxed, cajoled, badgered, buttonholed and maneuvered Congress into enacting Medicare for the aging and Medicaid to help low-income people. At the time, Moyers was a special assistant to Johnson.

Later, from 1965 to ’67, Moyer’s served as Johnson’s press secretary. He was a journalist before entering the political sphere and after leaving the Johnson administration, Moyers returned to journalism. He hosted public TV shows from 1971 until just a couple of years ago. He racked up about 36 Emmys and nine Peabody Awards. Although he’s retired from hosting his own shows, he’s the managing editor of, where his article about the passage of Medicare is published. Bill Moyers, welcome back to FRESH AIR. It is great to have you back again.




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