There are few surer ways to produce a self-satisfied smirk on the face of an Obamacare supporter than to mention Ronald Reagan’s early opposition to Medicare. This post by Hanna Rosin is typically smug:

This morning I heard a clip of Ronald Reagan, then candidate for governor, speaking about the prospect of Medicare, and sounding very much like today’s town hall critics.

The comparison to “town hall critics” is not, of course meant to be flattering.  It is an article of faith for Rosin, as it is for most “progressives,” that history has proven Reagan spectacularly wrong.

Only he wasn’t wrong. Reagan believed that Medicare was a Trojan horse for socialized medicine and that it would accelerate the metastasis of statism throughout American society. 

That progressives now use Medicare’s “success” (it’s actually a fiscally unsustaibale boondoggle) to justify their latest attempt to expand government-run health care vindicates Reagan’s “Trojan horse” argument.

Moreover he was remarkably prescient about the “moral argument” we have been hearing lately for what the President and his congressional accomplices hilariously refer to as health care “reform.”

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism, or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project.

Fifty years ago we were told that the elderly were dropping like flies. These day it’s about health care for ”the children” and covering ”the uninsured.” And now we have to do it for Teddy.

Never mind that the percentage of uninsured elderly in 1965 was miniscule or that a large percentage of the “children” covered by SCHIP are adults or that there aren’t 47 million uninsured Americans.

These faux crises have been nothing more than pretexts used to expand the power of the state. Any one of them could have been solved without massive increases in the power of the central government.

But it never has been about health care. It has always been about expanding the reach of our masters in Washington. Uncle Sam not only wants you, he has a plan for getting you. 

Reagan warned us, and he was right.

Comments 5

  1. johnson wrote:

    When you are not being an advocate, do you actually believe that, 50 years ago, some “masters in Washington” came up with the idea to enact Medicare so they could “expand their reach” by enacting a bill that would extend health insurance to more Americans… in the year 2010? Who are these guys? If you ask me, their devious plan to arrogate power to themselves wasn’t very well executed, given that they’re probably all dead or out of office by now. (And that, let’s be honest, the healthcare reform options on the table at the moment don’t in fact “extend the power” of any of these ancient “masters” by much.) Good thing Reagan was around to warn us about this stuff, though, right?

    Posted 27 Aug 2009 at 1:19 pm
  2. jv wrote:

    I’m curious to see where you get your numbers from about the miniscule numbers of uninsured elderly in 65. I’m finding numbers of 39% uninsured for 65 and up in 1965.

    So if we want to do something good, since it could be used for future evil, we should not ever do that good. The illogic is astounding.

    Posted 23 Nov 2009 at 1:24 pm
  3. Catron wrote:

    “I’m finding numbers of 39% uninsured for 65 and up in 1965.”

    This is something of a red herring, but I’ll bite (to mix metaphors):

    The estimates of uninsured seniors for that period are all over the place, ranging all the way up to 50%, and most sources aren’t very reliable. But, for argument’s sake, let’s use your number of 39%.

    In 1965, 39% of the over-65 population would have been between 3 and 4 percent of the U.S. population. In order to cover that small percentage, Congress enacted a program that now has an unfunded liability of $36 trillion.

    But the real point is that Reagan predicted it would be a shoe-in-the-door for socialized medicine, which is in fact what Medicare has become. Every advocate of Obamacare rhapsodizes about Medicare, calling it “the most successful government program in history.”

    If a $36 trillion unfunded liability, combined with tens of billions in improper payments, is success—–I’d hate to see failure.

    Posted 23 Nov 2009 at 3:28 pm
  4. Marc Brown wrote:

    ‘A national survey found that only 56 percent of those 65 years of age or older had health insurance.’

    And another fact about Medicare – who is going to fund resident training in your hospital if you scrap it?

    Posted 23 Nov 2009 at 3:50 pm
  5. ik wrote:

    36 trillion? Your numbers are all sorts of messed up. That’s nearly 2.5 times our current national defecit. Yet another person spewing lies to justify their unfounded beliefs

    Posted 23 Mar 2010 at 9:30 am

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