Sunday, March 28, 2010

Using Reagan to Defend ObamaCare?

From Johanna Neuman, "Same Healthcare Arguments, Just Decades Earlier":

When Medicare came into existence in 1965, those opposed - including Ronald Reagan - cried of socialism and loss of freedom.

President Harry S. Truman is considered the grandfather of universal healthcare, having first proposed it in 1945. "The health of American children, like their education, should be recognized as a definite public responsibility," he said.

Twenty years later, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare Act into law, he invited Truman, then 81 years old, to be at his side. Then LBJ enrolled Truman as the first beneficiary of the new program that provided healthcare for the 65-and-older set, calling him "the real daddy of Medicare."

But Medicare, much like President Obama's healthcare reform legislation, did not become law without a political fight. In fact, the American Medical Assn. mobilized a massive campaign against the idea, working tirelessly to stop the reform in Congress.

And to serve as the public face of its campaign against a government-sponsored health plan, the AMA chose none other than Ronald Reagan, the star of "General Electric Theater" and former president of the Screen Actors Guild whose views on politics matched its own.

Warning that enacting Medicare would lead to socialism in America, Reagan said that if Americans did not stop Medicare reform, "one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in America when men were free."

In an 11-minute recording for the AMA, Reagan invoked the name of Norman Thomas, the Socialist Party presidential candidate, saying:

"Now back in 1927 an American socialist, Norman Thomas, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism. But he said under the name of liberalism the American people would adopt every fragment of the socialist program. . . . 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 ....

"Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it. We have an example of this. Under the Truman administration, it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and, of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this."

Reagan's prescription? "Write to our congressmen and senators," he said. "The key issue is this: We do not want socialized medicine . . . demand the continuation of our traditional free-enterprise system."

Sound familiar?

Now, of course, Medicare is a vastly popular program for seniors and the disabled, sacrosanct even among Republicans. For example, President George W. Bush twisted arms in a Republican Congress to enact a vast expansion of the program to pay for prescription drugs.
Typical MSM drivel.

There's more at
the link, FWIW (which is not much, since Neuman bemoans Tom Daschle's withrawal as HHS nominee, as if he'd have made a bit of difference).


Sarge Charlie said...

I do not believe Ronald Reagan would do a commericial for GE Today, what do you think?

Reaganite Republican said...

Blah blah blah

They can say whatever they want, Americans DO NOT want this bill- and it will be destroyed.

Anybody who thinks Obama's propaganda offensive is going to count for more than the pending outrage as we "find out what's in it" ought to have their head examined... polls already show the bump evaporating.

IMO, it will be gutted in the courts- if not, defunded after the Electoral Bloodbath of 2010, lol

AmPowerBlog said...

Sarge: He wouldn't but times have sure changed ...

AmPowerBlog said...

Looking for the blood bath, RR.

Righty64 said...

The reason that the arguement seems to be the same is because it is! This "law" is intended to bring about socialized medicine by default. It is what Ronald Reagan fought against his whole adult political life. He must be rolling in his grave! And unlike the New Deal and the Great Society, people DO NOT WANT more encroachment of the govenrnment. Also, of course Mr. Reagan would NEVER work for today's GE. And, they would have never asked him to! And RR, you are spot on for the electoral bloodbath of '10. Oh, can we say that? You know, because it might be construed as a threat to the Democrats!