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

reaganMany 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:

“We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars.  There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States.”

Reagan even warned at one point:

“If this program passes, behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country until we wake to find that we have socialism… You and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in America when men were free.”

Pretty overwrought words, and clearly an inaccurate prediction.  But that’s not what I want to write about now.  Instead I want to talk about happened when Ronald Reagan was president, when he passed what David Blumenthal and James Morone describe as “the largest Medicare expansion in decades.”  What was this expansion, and how did Reagan come to embrace it? …(Read more and view comments at Forbes)