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    Medicare and Obamacare: Same Old Story

    Note:  Thanks to Alan Colmes, I am now a regular contributor on his website, Liberaland.  He posted this piece this morning, so if you're interested in reading the complete piece it continues over there.  Thanks.

    In the next town over from us the recycling station is in a huge semi-trailer.  You have to climb six narrow metal steps to get up into it, but there is an aisle you can walk down and there are huge open boxes in which to throw your stuff. 

    The beauty of it is that while I’m dropping off my own recyclables, I can dig through the newspaper and magazine bins to see what’s there for the taking.  Through the years we’ve found some fascinating reading, some of it as current as yesterday, but last week we found a treasure trove:  Seventeen Consumer Reports magazines, ranging from1965 to 1980.

    What struck me as I read through them was how much actual watchdogging went on within those pages; and what lengths they went to explain their findings. Page after page of small print, as if they actually anticipated that their readers would want to take the time to read it all. (No internet, no cable. I get it. But still. . .people read this stuff.  They read it.)

    Back in June, 1966, their headline story was about the new Medicare law taking effect in July. The law was complicated.  Every aspect of health insurance, hospitalizations, physician and pharmacy services, and medical goods had to be considered.  Nothing like it had ever been done on such a large scale before. The Government was poring an estimated $3 billion plus into it during the first year alone. Who would pay for what?  Who would gain the most?  Who would lose the most?  (Sound familiar?)

    (Continue here. . .)


    Love it, Ramona. I look forward to watching a few of my conservative friends' heads explode trying to defend their current stance on the ACA after forwarding them a link to this story (assuming they read it).

    (I was going to leave this comment at Liberaland, but I didn't want to go through the sign-up process.)

    Thanks, VA.  All this fuss over Obamacare really does follow the lines of the same fuss over Medicare/Medicaid--and the outcome will be about the same.  The ACA will  eventually succeed after most of the glitches have been ironed out, and we'll wonder why we waited so long to implement it. 

    Thanks for sharing it.  Sorry it's so difficult to comment over there. 

    I remember when it was passed and they only took a year to get it started.  Before that families would have to face difficult decisions about their sick elderly relatives.  Many of them ended up in county homes for the poor.  There were county nursing homes that were sub standard and run by local government.  The money for them came from local taxes and the county homes were the first place that would get funding cuts.  We called them poor houses.  My mother would make a big point to me to never put her in a place like that when I was a kid.  It only took a couple of years to close the county home as patients found better care. The families who had relatives in the county home were the first to move quickly to find private care and get them out of there.  It took longer for those with out families because a social worker had to do it.   My Aunt Mary had all kinds of trouble getting it started but she was so happy to have health insurance.  In fact it was the first time she had ever had any.  She never married and supported herself all her life.  There was plenty of opposition to it then like now and they have been trying to get rid of it ever since. 

    Yes, I remember the days before Medicare, too. Talk about "respecting your elders", huh?  If families didn't take care of them, no one else felt any obligation.

    One thing I should have put in the piece and didn't is that, before Medicare, insurance companies had the right to deny health insurance to anyone over 60 years old.  Even after Medicare began there was still that "hole" where those ages 60 to 65 could be legally denied coverage.

    I guess it is a sign of desperation that Ramona is trying to justify the Obamadon'tcare Capitalist/Statist program by telling us we will love it eventually just like the Socialist Medicare program. Some of the state exchanges have already shut down and are bankrupt while the outsourced online program is in disarray. The reports I have read show that the policies that are reasonably priced carry little real coverage so we will within a few years see the true nature of this massive transfer of wealth to the insurance industry.  An interesting FYI is that the AMA that despised the Socialist Medicare program has gleefully endorsed the ACA since they are in line to make huge profits from it's government mandated windfall.

    Desperation?  I guess you could call it that.  I'm desperate to get taxpayer-paid universal health care in this country and this is just the first step.  Just as Medicare was one step toward the ACA.  We proved it could work and it has.  It has saved thousands, if not millions of lives and eased the worries of many more of our elders.

    Some of the state exchanges never got started, thanks to the Republican leaders who think the way you kill this program is to refuse to allow the people in their state to have access to it.  Nice of them.

    Other than that I don't see anything else in your comment that requires any more comment.

    I love how the Liberaland commenter complained about you not reading the CR article, but didn't even notice you were female. Makes me wonder how many of those Faux News sock puppets are living large right here in River City.

    I thought that was pretty ha-ha funny, too.  The most they can do is grab a link and throw it out there.  Wouldn't want to have to do too much digging--they might find something that disputes all they've been led to believe.  Then what?

    Or could they be think tank employees, paid to be sock puppets.  Sometimes they get lazy and copy and paste as they make their rounds on the internet.  I have run into that reading comments.  Something else that needs to be said is that most of the elderly that ended up sick in the Poor House was women before there was Medicare.  They had simply out lived their savings.  It was a huge problem that was eating up local tax revenue.  Medicare was very popular with people from the very beginning.  Yes there was south west libertarians like Regan that fought it but I only remember how everyone was so happy to sign up for it.  The far right's mean ugly fight is only because it is a black president that will get credit for this. 

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