So, is N.C. GOP against Medicare now?

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You have to wonder if the North Carolina Republican Party knows what it’s doing. I’m talking about the party’s Web site, which now features a 49-year-old commercial by Ronald Reagan that, we assume, is supposed to be a call to oppose health care reform. The ad, in which the GOP conservatives’ saint rails against the evils of socialism and says that a government-run health care plan would take away Americans’ freedoms, was made in 1961. Trouble is, it was made as part of the American Medical Association’s campaign against JFK’s plans to provide health care for senior citizens, known today as Medicare.

During last summer’s health care reform debates and screaming matches, you may remember, N.C. Republicans kept saying they wanted to protect Medicare, and that the Democrats’ plans to cut out fraud and abuse in Medicare would “endanger seniors.” So which is it? Are they against Medicare, as St. Ronnie declares in his message from heaven, er, the past? Or are they for protecting Medicare?

More importantly, did no one at N.C. GOP headquarters realize that arguing against health care reform by running an old ad against Medicare – a program so popular that no sane politician would dare propose to abolish it — might create a problem? If the arguments Reagan used to oppose Medicare were so obviously wrong, then why would the same arguments be any more convincing today? Hey, I’m just asking.

Ronald Reagan, health care expert
  • Ronald Reagan, health care expert

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