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Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine
August 18, 2009 11:59 AM   Subscribe

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine.

Via Wikipedia: Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine is a 1961 LP recorded by Ronald Reagan. In this 11-minute recording, Reagan "criticized Social Security for supplanting private savings and warned that subsidized medicine would curtail Americans' freedom" and that "pretty soon your son won't decide when he's in school, where he will go or what he will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him."

The LP was a product of Operation Coffee Cup, a stealth program by the American Medical Associaltion in opposition to what would later be Medicare.

A history of the campaign from HuffPost.
posted by Astro Zombie (56 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was concerned about Ronald Reagan speaking out at this time, especially considering who posted this.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:02 PM on August 18, 2009 [25 favorites]


Zombie Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Medicine:

"BRAAAAIIIIIINNNNNSSSS!!!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:03 PM on August 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


Alzheimer's Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Medicine:

"BRAAAAIIIIIINNNNN!!!"
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 12:06 PM on August 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


The lack of cognitive depth in that is frightening, but not surprising.
posted by kldickson at 12:09 PM on August 18, 2009


Phew, he's still dead. I thought I might have to go dig out my Reagan Youth buttons and No Business as Usual Day stickers.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:09 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


There you go again.
posted by shmegegge at 12:10 PM on August 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I was more afraid it was going to be "faith based" health care, in which case, Ronald Reagan speaking out right now would be even more... biblical?
posted by yeloson at 12:15 PM on August 18, 2009


Under a British-style socialized medicine system, Ronald Reagan would be dead.

Think about that.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 12:16 PM on August 18, 2009 [26 favorites]


Under a British-style socialized medicine system, Ronald Reagan would still be dead.

If socialists can't raise the dead, I don't want my taxes paying for it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:19 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


...a stealth program by the American Medical Associaltion in opposition to what would later be Medicare.

...a stealth program by the American Medical Associaltion in opposition to what would later be Medicare.
posted by DU at 12:19 PM on August 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


On the one hand, for reasonable people it seems like this is a direct counterexample to the claims of the far right on health care reform. On the other, those people are insane and will instead interpret it as "St. Gipper was right! Never forget the wisdom of holy Regan!"
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:19 PM on August 18, 2009


Under a British-style socialized medical system, Reagan's diagnosis of Alzheimer's would've been made six months before he was elected.
posted by wendell at 12:19 PM on August 18, 2009 [13 favorites]


Wait, Ronald Reagan's dead?
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 12:19 PM on August 18, 2009


Why did Ronald Reagan hate what our Founding Fathers stood for?!

Did he really believe that opposing healthcare for all Americans promoted the general welfare.. because I doubt Jefferson felt the same way, and he wrote that bit.

Reagan and his ilk were just fine at securing the blessings of liberty for themselves.

Securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves -- meaning all of us -- and for our posterity?! Not so much.

One thing our Founding Fathers weren't is selfish.
posted by markkraft at 12:20 PM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I remember I first heard this just days before I was whisked away from my parents and interred at Liberal Education Center 454-TX to be molded into the very successful young Obama Youth Socialist Church Bulldozer I am today. I disagreed with it when I heard it then, but after my bulldozing accident when Federal law mandated that I wait three years to have my arm put in a cast -- with a requirement that an elected official be present to make sure absolutely no one associated with my health care would profit one thin dime -- that's when I decided to save up and buy some posterboard and markers with the 4% of my post-tax earning the government allows me to keep and go picket at the White House with my government-mandated homosexual life-partner Steve.
posted by chasing at 12:23 PM on August 18, 2009 [19 favorites]


The Samantha-Fox-Speaks-Out-Against-Socialized-Medicine 12" Picture Disc was so much more convincing.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:24 PM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Carter vs. Reagan: "There you go again"

This essay is the best background of Reagan and Medicare.
posted by @troy at 12:26 PM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wait, what about enemy inflation? How can we still be fighting against socialized medicine after all this time? Surely new enemies have arisen or grown in the last fifty years, and by now we should be struggling against islamofascist medicine or evilChinesecommunist medicine or gayagendatheywanttobrainwashourchildren medicine?
posted by Sova at 12:31 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not as good as his seminal Phil Spector-produced record "Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Unmurdered Nuns in El Salvador." It's often said that only 3000 people ever bought it, but all of them started a death squad.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 12:33 PM on August 18, 2009 [23 favorites]


Wait, what about enemy inflation? How can we still be fighting against socialized medicine after all this time? Surely new enemies have arisen or grown in the last fifty years, and by now we should be struggling against islamofascist medicine or evilChinesecommunist medicine or gayagendatheywanttobrainwashourchildren medicine?

CRISIS ON INFINITE MEDICARE!
posted by Artw at 12:39 PM on August 18, 2009


Reagan warns at the end about what will happen if Medicare becomes a reality:

Write those letters now; call your friends and them to write them. If you don’t, this program I promise you, will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow, and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country. Until, one day, as Normal Thomas said we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.

Remember what it was once like in America, when men were free? Good times.
posted by EarBucket at 12:47 PM on August 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


we will awake to find that we have socialism.

Nope, we still only have socialism in our dreams.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:59 PM on August 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


The Samantha-Fox-Speaks-Out-Against-Socialized-Medicine 12" Picture Disc was so much more convincing.

You think so? I found it interesting for about three minutes. Then very interesting. Then suddenly I lost interest.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:00 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for giving me a little flashback into why I hated that simpleminded smug bastard so much.

Meanwhile NPR's afternoon call-in show has been drawing the right-wingers left and right. "I want the government 100% out of all things having to do with healthcare!" shouts one caller as I was driving back from lunch. "Only pure capitalism will ensure healthcare works properly! We haven't let pure capitalism do its job!" Good grief. I feel like we're approaching a conceptual convergence of purifying capitalism and General Jack Ripper's precious American bodily fluids. (Cue Viagra ad.)
posted by aught at 1:02 PM on August 18, 2009


"Nope, we still only have socialism in our dreams."

Ah, yes, sweet socialism. Can't wait until we have government provided medical care, food, and housing here in America. Hopefully government provided TV, cell phones, and Internet too. Only then will my dream of staying home in my underwear, posting on the Blue all day and surfing porn instead of working every day come true!
posted by TheFlamingoKing at 1:10 PM on August 18, 2009


call-in-shows suck balls and scott simons program is no different. I don't want to hear what todd truckdriver and missy metermaid want to spout, I want someone knowledgeable who invested the time to dig into an argument and evaluate it to give me an actual overview based on which I can come to my own conclusion.

that said I don't know why this was FPP-worthy at all. reagan was a dopy actor that got elected because enough people had a boner for cowboys and disliked peanut farmers.
posted by krautland at 1:11 PM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Carter vs. Reagan: "There you go again"

Context is everything. Boy howdy.
posted by nola at 1:12 PM on August 18, 2009


Ah, yes, sweet socialism. Can't wait until we have government provided medical care, food, and housing here in America. Hopefully government provided TV, cell phones, and Internet too. Only then will my dream of staying home in my underwear, posting on the Blue all day and surfing porn instead of working every day come true!

If that's socialism, then fuckin' a, sign me up.
posted by NoMich at 1:18 PM on August 18, 2009


Ah, yes, sweet socialism. Can't wait until we have government provided medical care, food, and housing here in America. Hopefully government provided TV, cell phones, and Internet too. Only then will my dream of staying home in my underwear, posting on the Blue all day and surfing porn instead of working every day come true!

*fap fap fap*
posted by nola at 1:20 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, man, the only helping hand anyone needs is the invisible one!
posted by uncleozzy at 1:22 PM on August 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


The invisible hand kinda gave us the finger didn't it.
posted by Mister_A at 1:24 PM on August 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


It isn't that Reagan believed this, it's that he was well compensated to act as though he believed it. He probably didn't have an actual care in the world outside of, oh, "what's for dinner, mommy?"
posted by blixco at 1:27 PM on August 18, 2009


that got elected because enough people had a boner for cowboys and disliked peanut farmers.

I'm guessing this was a comment made by someone from Europe. I guess that because Europeans often seem to think that Americans care about cowboys as much as Europeans apparently do.
posted by The World Famous at 1:31 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't "pure capitalism" mean doing away with all insurance companies completely? I mean, pooling resources to minimize individual risk... that's not capitalism, is it?
posted by hippybear at 1:31 PM on August 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I can't believe Reagan was a douchebag all the way back in 1961!

*snicker*
posted by Ron Thanagar at 1:33 PM on August 18, 2009


The Invisible Hand is ok.

The Invisibile Death Panel, not so much.
posted by mazola at 1:33 PM on August 18, 2009


Wait, Ronald Reagan's dead?

No, you heathen, not anymore. On the third day, He rose again.



Duh.
posted by grubi at 1:34 PM on August 18, 2009


On the other hand...in 1961, we didn't have the wealth of data that shows how relatively poor the US health care system is performing (% of GDP, $ per capita, overall wellness of society, etc.). So it's more understandable, to me at least, that someone would challenge "socialized medicine" on more of a philosophical basis back then. In 2009, however, based on the performance of our system vs others, I don't see how that line of reasoning continues to resonate.
posted by brandman at 1:50 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you for this post. I'll be forwarding it to others, as one of my favorite things is to talk to people (60+) who are facing retirement or are already retired, about all those "terrible" socialist things... you know, like Social Security and Medicare. It's worth it to see their gears grinding over this, having to argue that socialized medicine is not ok, but Medicare is something they will eagerly accept.
posted by Houstonian at 1:52 PM on August 18, 2009


Don't like socialism? Cool, let's define that term. If you define it as government-back agencies providing for the people at the people's expense, and you don't want that, then we got a lot of stuff to dismantle.

The armed forces, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, most of the educational system, police forces, fire departments.... heavens, let's not allow the government to PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE or PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE or anything.

That would be (*shudder*) socialism! And if we have socialism!, then we sure as shit won't work for a living anymore.
posted by grubi at 1:52 PM on August 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


It never ceases to amaze me how the Right is still flogging the idea that any form of government involvement in maintenance of quality of life is socialism. Opposition to public option health care now will, in 20 years time, probably seem the same as former Senator Dick Cheney's opposition to the Clean Water and Air Act does today. I still wonder if that guy collects his drinking water from rain barrels.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:57 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The armed forces, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, most of the educational system, police forces, fire departments.... heavens, let's not allow the government to PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE or PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE or anything.

I know a lot of well-educated Republicans who would propose exactly this and who have, in discussions where I have made that exact point, responded that they do believe that all of those things should be completely privatized and unregulated.

Because it is a political debate, it is not about logic or persuasion. It is about holding a battle line at all costs.
posted by The World Famous at 2:01 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Great Dambalaah brought him back in the body of a Laugh-a-Lot baby.
posted by qvantamon at 2:04 PM on August 18, 2009


Is this i-ronnie?
posted by MuffinMan at 2:09 PM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


The LP was a product of Operation Coffee Cup, a stealth program by the American Medical Associaltion in opposition to what would later be Medicare.

This is what lured my father, an educated and very intelligent neurosurgeon, into drinking the right-wing KoolAid. He was so angry about "socialized medicine" that he refused to accept Medicare patients, and treated them for free off the books. He grew tighter and tighter with the Reagan movement, subscribed to Human Events and National Review, and eventually became a Reagan delegate at the '76 convention.

He was a hero to me as I grew up and I reflexively adopted his conservative stance, which at the time seemed to be based on some principles. I knew from my mother that when he was an Air Force flight surgeon, he had disobeyed his alcoholic superior officer and performed surgery on the base commander's daughter's appendix, potentially saving her life. He's in his 80s now, tied to his oxygen (from 57 years of smoking 2 packs a day), and watching FauxNews in his armchair. He repeats all the stupid talking points and doesn't bother trying to understand the wider context of anything beyond what his narrow sources present. It saddens me.

The irony is that he quit practice when he was 62 and recently he disclosed to me the event that triggered his quitting. He had a patient who he felt needed surgery, but the patient's coverage was denied. He was so disgusted that he did the surgery gratis and then sold his practice. The irony? It was a private insurance company.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:30 PM on August 18, 2009 [17 favorites]


He was so angry about "socialized medicine" that he refused to accept Medicare patients, and treated them for free off the books.

Can we get more conservative-minded doctors of this ilk these days? I have more than one medical question I need answered and teeth that need tending, and haven't had insurance in over a decade. I'd be happy to pretend I was on Medic-suffix in order to get off-the-books care from someone who really is a "compassionate conservative."
posted by hippybear at 2:45 PM on August 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "brains panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of not having their brains eaten by zombies. Such a system is downright evil.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 2:50 PM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wish I could find the video of his colonscopy online
posted by A189Nut at 3:21 PM on August 18, 2009


Don't like socialism? Cool, let's define that term. If you define it as government-back agencies providing for the people at the people's expense, and you don't want that, then we got a lot of stuff to dismantle.

Indeed.

You can call pretty much anything "common defense" or "general welfare" - that doesn't make it so.
posted by stewiethegreat at 3:24 PM on August 18, 2009




Crazed blimp-like man spells "Israeli" wrong twice in a single sentence.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:13 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]




then we got a lot of stuff to dismantle

You been listenin' to Sarah Palin'
posted by valentinepig at 5:12 PM on August 18, 2009


Amusing comment from the Wonkette thread:

WELL I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN
WHERE AT LEAST I KNOW I’M FREE
AND I’LL SCREAM HEIL HITLER TO ANYONE
WHOSE NOT THE SAME AS ME
AND I HATE THE PUBLIC OPTION
CAUSE FREEDOM ISN’T FREE
ITS EXPENSIVE AS HELL, AND ITS HOW I CAN TELL
YOU’RE NOT AS RICH AS ME
posted by jokeefe at 6:05 PM on August 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


You can call pretty much anything "common defense" or "general welfare" - that doesn't make it so.

Wait, what?

The military and the police aren't providing for the common defense? Medicare, Medicaid, and education aren't promoting the general welfare?

Are you nuts?
posted by grubi at 5:22 AM on August 19, 2009


Socialism does not mean whatever right-wing loons with AK-47s want it to mean, nor does it even mean what a lot of left-wingers want it to mean.

Socialism, as defined by the political theorists who originally conceived of it, is a temporary transitional condition that a formerly capitalist state passes through on its way to full blown communism.

Socialism is defined by the government seizing the means of economic and industrial production by force--meaning, the state forcefully seizes all farmland, privately owned natural resources, factories, warehouses, retail stores, the distribution mechanisms for manufactured goods, etc.--and then imposes state control over all those means of economic production, using central planning, until such time as conditions are right for the transition to a full-fledged communist state, at which point (in theory, though this has never actually happened in practice) the means of production would be turned over to the workers, who would then establish a worker's paradise.

Now, acknowledging the above, if anyone can look me in the eye for even one second and tell me with a straight face they honestly believe health care reform is going to bring us even the tiniest fraction closer to this happening in America, then I'll gladly buy at least a half-ounce of whatever it is they're smoking.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:16 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


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