44 years ago today Medicare was signed into law by President Johnson with President Truman looking on. Johnson signed Truman’s original application form as a witness and called him “the real daddy of Medicare”. The irony is that the same old voices that tried to scare America into not making Medicare a reality are doing the same with universal health care. Same. Exact. Playbook.

By all accounts Medicare has been an overwhelmingly popular program with the American people. As Barack Obama hilariously noted this week, many people say to him “I don’t want socialized health care!…but don’t you dare touch my Medicare!”. That sounds like something coming out of Sarah Palin’s Amurica doesn’t it? The American people also want healthcare reform this year. It’s pretty clear.

And so on this 44th anniversary the irony is that the same old conservative scare tactics and fear mongering is hard at work. Ronald Reagan sowed the seeds of his conservative icon status on this fear and loathing. Ronnie lent his voice to the 1961 Operation Coffee Cup Campaign against “Socialized Medicine”:

Ronald Reagan: ?[I]f you don?t [stop Medicare] and I don?t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children?s children what it once was like in America when men were free.? [1961]

Are we Socialists yet? Are we telling stories about what it once was like to live in America where men were free? How did Ron Reagan’s arguments work out? What GOP leader is ready to repeal Medicare?

So Happy Anniversary Medicare! We’ll keep the bastards at bay!

[ht TP]

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  • Brew

    And we’ve also got brilliance like this:
    ‘At a recent town-hall meeting in suburban Simpsonville, a man stood up and told Rep. Robert Inglis (R-S.C.) to ?keep your government hands off my Medicare.?’

  • Even better Brew! Thanks for adding that.

  • The part that you’re leaving out is that Medicare is going bankrupt and quite obviously isn’t meeting the needs of Americans from this push for a bigger government system. If Medicare is so fantastic, why not just expand that?

    Health care reform is needed, but you do that by attacking the fundamental cost of care, not by shuffling the costs from private insurers to the taxpayers. Trading a private bureaucracy for a government one isn’t reform or progress.

  • Obviously isn’t meeting the needs of Americans? I’m not sure you’ve presented any evidence to make that claim.

    Everything senior related is “going bankrupt”. It’s demographics. The demographics just happen to coincide with higher and higher medical costs. This doesn’t mean the program is bad. There are issues, to be sure. Cost containment is a big issue. I’m not sure there’s a market correction for that as the market tends to be driven by profit, which has an upward pressure on pricing (that marketing tried to temper).

    I don’t disagree with your cost containment argument, but don’t see it as mutually exclusive from other reforms.

  • Tudorman

    “What GOP leader is ready to repeal Medicare?”

    Not one. Because the only difference between the parties is the candy coating on the servitude they peddle. And neither party would dream of pissing off all those old people.

    Medicare is fundamentally a program that confiscates the income of younger people and gives it to older people. However, the rational goes something like “I paid into it for all those years, now it’s my turn to get something out”. Well, guess what. The money you put is missing, stolen by the thieves in Washington so they could buy your vote. And you fell for it. Now, short of repealing the program entirely, the only choices are to loot your own children and grandchildren ever more, or renege on the promise to take care of you in your golden years.

    Some choice, eh?

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