12. Medicare

Medicare is the name of the federal government’s health insurance program for people who, having paid into the Social Security system, are at least 65 years old or who are disabled.

People often confuse “Medicare” with “Medicaid,” although the programs are quite different. Unfortunately, Congress in its infinite wisdom named these programs in a way that would increase confusion. Or maybe they were confused as well. In any event, although Medicare is an entitlement program to which everyone who has contributed to Social Security and is either over 65 or is permanently disabled has a right, Medicaid is a welfare program that is available only to those who meet strict financial qualifications.

One of the biggest sources of confusion ...

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