Republican opposition to Medicare goes back decades

Republican opposition to Medicare goes back decades

It should be no surprise that Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is suggesting the end of Medicare as we know it and replacing it with some sort of voucher system.

From its passage in 1965 and implementation in 1966, Republicans were not in favor of this remarkable program. It passed because we had a Democrat-controlled Congress; however, the Republicans did their best to prevent its passage. Thirteen Republican senators voted for it and 17 voted against; 70 House Republicans were in favor and 68 said no. The “big business” Republicans wanted the responsibility for insuring our elderly to stay in the private sector insurance companies. The Republicans felt Medicare was a step toward socialism – too much government involvement in our lives.

Tens of millions of Americans have benefited from Medicare over the years. Before Medicare, it was very difficult for elderly persons to qualify for or afford private insurance. Medicare changed that and gave people the opportunity to enjoy a longer and healthier life. It’s no accident that the lives of our citizens have been extended many years as a result of Medicare.

Paul S. Bunkin

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