Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat One of the advantages of Medicare is that when someone's spouse gets hurt Medicare is there to make sure that all senior citizens at least will get the affordable health care that they need. So they do not have to go bankrupt in order to cover their health care bills. I just wish they went further in the mid 1960s and allowed for everyone if they choose to pay into Medicare. And use it as their health insurance as well if they chose to. And even let the states set up their own Medicare system so the program doesn’t become too centralized. Had they done that we wouldn’t have the expensive healthcare system that we do today. Medicare was never called Seniorcare or SenioCitizenCare, it was called Medicare. Which means medical care for people and that doesn’t have to be senior citizens necessarily. Medicare could have been the so-called public option that was debated in 2009-10, but started in 1965. And we would still have a private health insurance as well as health care today. But where more Americans would have more choice in how they paid for their health care.
I have a lot of respect for Ronald Reagan, but he was simply dead wrong about Medicare. And by the time he was President of the United States at least, he was even a supporter of Medicare and spoke in favor of it. Were there members of Congress looking to nationalize the health insurance system, if not the entire health care system in the 1960s, I’m sure there were. But that is not what President Kennedy and then later President Lyndon Johnson were proposing. And what President Johnson then later got passed out of Congress in 1964, what they got out of Congress was guaranteed health insurance for senior citizens and the poor. Which is Medicare and Medicaid and I wish they went further and allowed for all Americans above poverty to pay into Medicare if they chose to. In other words the public option, but they didn’t even go that far.