Tag Archives: US history

The Biggest Government Health Care Spender Since LBJ Was…Ronald Reagan?

Many readers will recognize Ronald Reagan’s famous maxim that: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”  Some will even recognize his vehement opposition to Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare proposal, before the program was passed into law: … Continue reading

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Name That President

Read the following quote, and try to guess which U.S. president made this statement: “A responsible budget is not our only weapon to control inflation.  We must act now to protect all Americans from healthcare costs that are rising $1 … Continue reading

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Another Early Obamacare Supporter: Richard Nixon?!

In a previous post, I presented a quote from Dwight Eisenhower that foreshadows the Obamacare insurance exchanges, and argued that Obamacare is a centrist healthcare law, one that rather than socialize the healthcare system instead promotes private hospitals and private insurance … Continue reading

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Why JFK Failed to Pass Medicare

In a late night phone call during a foreign policy crisis, Kennedy expressed disdain for domestic policy, showing the kind of attitude that doomed later efforts to reform the U.S. healthcare system: “It really is true that foreign affairs is … Continue reading

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Medicare and the Desegregation of American Hospitals

As anyone who has followed the Obamacare roller coaster over the past 4 years knows, passing legislation is only the first step in reforming a healthcare system. Since Obamacare came into law, we have been consumed by battles over how … Continue reading

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When It Came to Medicare Costs LBJ Concluded "What's $400 Million Between Friends!"

Lyndon Johnson’s advisers were worried. They were drafting a Medicare proposal, a major component of Johnson’s war on poverty. But the cost of this program was turning out to be much larger than expected. By their estimates, in the first … Continue reading

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How Truman's Medicare Efforts Were Foiled by Red Baiting

In The Heart of Power, David Blumenthal and James Morone relate the 75 year history of presidential efforts (typically unsuccessful) to reform the U.S. healthcare system.  I used to think major reform efforts did not happen for many years after FDR’s … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln Knew How to Milk a Metaphor

I could go on quoting Abraham Lincoln all day long, for he was one of the finest writers of his or any time. Here’s one very special quote, where Lincoln uses the metaphor of a snake to make distinctions between … Continue reading

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Be Careful What Standards You Use to Judge Historical Figures: The Case of Abraham Lincoln

It’s always tricky to judge anyone’s moral character, much less that of historical figures who lived during times very different from our own. Most of the great people who founded the United States, for example, had slaves. Some even sired … Continue reading

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How "Vague" Writing Can Be Powerful: A Lesson from Abe Lincoln

In his wonderful 1992 book – Lincoln at Gettysburg – Gary Wills explains that one of the reasons the Gettysburg address was so powerful is that Lincoln did not use any proper names – that’s right any – in the … Continue reading

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