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That’s what Republicans called Medicare in the 1960s. So don’t be fooled as the try to posture themselves as the benign protectors of seniors’ precious Medicare benefits. They were against improving health care, then. They are against it today. They are the party of “no.” Observe:

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]

George H.W. Bush: Described Medicare in 1964 as “socialized medicine.” [1964]

Barry Goldwater: “Having given our pensioners their medical care in kind, why not food baskets, why not public housing accommodations, why not vacation resorts, why not a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink.” [1964]

Bob Dole: In 1996, while running for the Presidency, Dole openly bragged that he was one of 12 House members who voted against creating Medicare in 1965. “I was there, fighting the fight, voting against Medicare . . . because we knew it wouldn’t work in 1965.” [1965]

Despite Medicare’s success and the unrealized fears of its detractors, Republican lawmakers are still regurgitating the claim that Medicare would create a “Soviet-style model” of health care. As Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MS), chairman of the GOP Health Solutions Group, explained during a recent radio interview, “you could certainly argue that government should have never have gotten in the health care business…Government did get into the health care business in a big way in 1965 with Medicare, and later with Medicaid, and government already distorts the marketplace.”

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One Comment

  1. The early “investors” in Ponzi schemes are always the happiest. Remember people couldn’t believe the “success” of Bernie Madoff either.

    I am with BG, why not give seniors everything. Why not be “compassionate conservatives”? No one would ever need to work again.


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