It Disrupted Jim Crow, but Otherwise the Transition Was Smooth
Huff Post Politics 02/16/2016
by Steffue Woolhandler and David Himmelstein
Hillary Clinton and others charge that Bernie Sanders' Medicare-for-All plan would disrupt and threaten Americans' health care. But the smooth rollout of Medicare-for-Seniors in 1965 -- which many had also predicted would bring chaos -- belies that charge.
Medicare, signed into law on July 30, 1965, went live just 11 months later. By then, 18.9 million seniors had signed up, 99 percent of those eligible.
To accomplish this feat (largely without computers) the Social Security Administration mailed an information leaflet and sign-up cards preprinted with each individual's name and Social Security number (see example below) to seniors on the Social Security and railroad retirement rolls, as well as Civil Service annuitants and a million other seniors identified through IRS records.