Kennedy Medicare Promise Commemorative Medal

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This bronze medal was part of a 36-medal set produced by the Lincoln Mint company in 1971 to commemorate the legacy of John F. Kennedy. Production of the set began in January of 1971, the 10th anniversary of Kennedy’s inauguration. The Lincoln Mint sold these medals as a subscription; the customer would receive one medal a month for 36 months, each medal commemorating a different event in the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy. The set also came with a collector’s album to hold the medals and—as a special gift—a tape player and a cassette containing major excerpts from J. F. K.'s most famous speeches. The series could be purchased in pure (.999) silver for $10.00 a month or solid bronze for $5.00 a month. The silver series was limited to 5,000 subscribers and the bronze to 10,000 subscribers.
This medal was the 24th in the series and commemorated Kennedy’s "Medicare Promise," his attempt to enact legislation that would provide comprehensive affordable medical care for the elderly. The obverse has an image of an elderly male and female face and Kennedy leaning down to comfort an elderly person in a wheelchair. The reverse has an image of the Staff of Asclepius, the ancient symbol of the medical profession. The reverse reads "THE LEGACY OF JOHN F. KENNEDY/In spite of JFK's efforts to provide health care for the aged, Medicare was not enacted until a year and a half after his death/ January 20, 1961-July 30, 1965." January 20th, 1961 was Kennedy’s inauguration date and July 30th, 1965 was the date Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law. A small cursive "LM" for Lincoln Mint is at the bottom of the medal, and the rim is stamped number 122 which designated the subscriber's number.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1965
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: .5 cm x 4.8 cm; 3/16 in x 1 7/8 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Government, Politics, and Reform
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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