aside Reagan Would Never Pass The Senate’s Proposed Healthcare Bill

Image result for photos of republican ronald reagan
Ronald Reagan

Dear Readers, The Republican Party of today, is not the same party that I was a member of until 2016, when I faced the reality that this party is not the party of ole.

The republican party activists revere the name of Ronald Reagan. I can promise you that President Reagan would be turning over in his grave to learn that the current republican President Donald Trump has been playing house with Russian leaders and that US Senators of his party were giving serious consideration to passage of the Senate’s version of Trumpcare.

Image result for cartoons of reagan in times of trumpHere is the rest of the story…

On June 22, 2017, Henry Olsen penned the following Washington Post op-ed piece, “Here’s how Ronald Reagan would fix the GOP’s health-care mess.”

“Henry Olsen, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is the author of “The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.”


“The internal GOP debate on how to replace Obamacare is essentially one of priorities. What is more important, saving money or saving lives? (For the republicans’) idol, Ronald Reagan, this was never a question at all. Throughout his life, Reagan always cared more about saving lives than saving money.”

“Conservatives might find this shocking and argue that Reagan would never have approved of federal subsidies such as those contained in Obamacare. But, to paraphrase Reagan himself, it’s not so much that our conservative friends are ignorant, it’s that so much of what they know just isn’t so. In fact, throughout his career, Reagan expressed strong support for government-subsidized medical care for people who couldn’t otherwise afford it.”Image result for cartoons about reagan trump

“In researching my book on Reagan’s political philosophy, I came across his speeches and letters from the days before he became famous in 1964 for endorsing Barry Goldwater in a nationally televised address. There was then no Medicare or Medicaid, but there were plenty of proposals to create a federally run or funded program to provide health insurance to all Americans. Reagan opposed those ideas, to no one’s surprise, but the surprise is why he did and what he wanted to do instead.”

 “Reagan did not oppose national health-care plans out of a belief they violated the Constitution, were improper roles for government to play or cost too much. Rather, he opposed them because they weren’t necessary to solve the legitimate humanitarian concerns that evoked Americans’ compassion.”

Related image“Reagan’s principle was simple: As he told the Conservative League of Minneapolis in 1961, “as one conservative let me say any person in the United States who requires medical attention and cannot provide it for himself should have it provided for him.” To that end, he enthusiastically supported a recently enacted bill called the Kerr-Mills Act. That bill provided federal funds to states to set up programs to pay for medical care for poor senior citizens. This targeted intervention allowed government to meet the true need without creating what he called a compulsory, one-size-fits-all model that “forc[es] all citizens, regardless of need,” into a single program.”

“Cost was not a concern for him. He wrote a longtime friend, Loraine Wagner, in July 1961 to elaborate on his view. “Very simply,” he wrote, “I’m in favor of helping those who need help.” After describing Kerr-Mills, he wrote, “Now I’m in favor of this bill — and if the money isn’t enough I think we should put up more.” Saving lives was always more important than saving money to Reagan.”

Related image“And he did not retreat from this stance when he became governor or president. Despite inheriting a terrible budget crisis upon taking office, Reagan refused to push to repeal California’s recently enacted participation in Medicaid. He called it “help” for people who otherwise could not afford their medical bills, and raised taxes by a then-record amount rather than slash the program. He reiterated his support for the principle of government-financed health insurance for those who needed it in letter after letter, including one he wrote in mid-1979.”

Applying these principles to the current debate, it’s clear that Reagan would ensure that no one with genuine need would lose his or her ability to get needed medical care regardless of the cost. The newly released Senate bill does a much better job of fulfilling his ideals than does the House bill. It slows the phaseout of federal support for the Medicaid expansion and retains Obamacare’s income-based subsidies for people on the federal exchange, while the House bill’s age-based subsidies would probably have led to many people dropping coverage. In each case, the Senate approach places life over cost. Senators who came out against the plan Friday on grounds that it doesn’t fully repeal Obamacare may think of themselves as conservative, but on this issue they aren’t acting as Reagan conservatives.”

Image result for cartoons of reagan in times of trump“Reagan would not have ignored cost concerns. As he told the nation in 1981, “we can be compassionate about human needs without being complacent about budget extravagance.” It’s just that meeting human needs always came first for the Gipper. If he were convinced, as Senate bill critics argue, that this bill’s Medicaid changes will keep people from getting the care they need, Reagan would surely have worked to find a solution.”

 “Republicans have long suffered from the self-inflicted wound of misunderstanding Ronald Reagan. By adopting the liberal caricature of him as an anti-government zealot, they have hurt their ability to win elections and hindered their ability to govern when they did. The current debacle over health-care reform is simply the latest example of this three-decade trend. The GOP should use the coming debate over an Obamacare replacement to finally rid themselves of this false idol and follow the real Reagan into the promised land.


  1. Great Cartoons, Gronda!

    The estimated dead in Nicaragua in the 1990s due to Reagan’s humanitarian ideas reached 30,000. Reagan approved the CIA selling drugs to finance arms purchases for Iran…who as even then was our enemy. The creation of the Contra army in Nicaragua to overthrow the government there was Reagan’s thing….until that drug/gun runner crashed his airplane in the jungle and Iran-Contra hit the spotlight. Reagan was always going on about the “Evil Empire” as he called the Soviet Union at the time. Over-throwing sovereign countries in the guise of “fighting communism” fooled a lot of people.

    Having said that, the Democrats were always just as bad….Clinton and Kennedy notwithstanding. Throwing our weight around, that’s what we do. Reagan was a decent actor, at least I always thought so…dumping his legal wife Jane Wyman and marrying Nancy wasn’t a good Christian thing to do either. But he is always sanctified.

    Ron was president of the actor’s guild, and did make his stand on fighting “communism.” That’s true. He always gets credit for tearing down the Berlin Wall…which was on its way down at the time anyway, Gorbachev is reported to have given orders to troops maintaining order in East Germany to stand down. It does make a good American Fairy Tale that he demanded the destruction of the wall and presto! the Russians tore it down.

      • ya think? He wouldn’t have given a rat’s ass about us common folks…hero or no hero. By the way….I LOVE the info about the Mercers. I never heard of them until this morning and had to leave for a doc appointment so had to delay researching them. I need to jump across the pond and back a few generations though. 🙂

        • Dear Gradmama2011,

          President Reagan did lots that I disagreed with but the point is that he was not SO ideology driven to where he would have ever considered anything like Trumpcare.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • ideology was his god. He succeeded Carter. When thehostages were released the release was deliberately delayed so Reagan could claim credit. I was in grad school then and very much into politics. The came the Iran-Contra fiasco…dirty politics, drugs, lies and more lies. A good place to start the IC research is with Eugene Hickenfoose crashing into the jungle… it preferably by newspapers and real books, some of these events had to have live involvement. The news evolves even as we hear it.

        • Dear Gradmama2011,

          There was no love lost between Nixon and Reagan. On the Nixon tapes, he can be heard saying: “Reagan Was “Shallow” and of “Limited Mental Capacity.”

          This is offset by Ronald Reagan’s tepid comment to Richard Nixon on Watergate: ‘This Too Shall Pass’

          Hugs, Gronda

        • I read the Mother Jones etc articles. Re Nixon… except for obvious failings Nixon accomplished positive things like opening relationship with China. All presidents have good and bad points, all are demonized by enemies and sainted by enemies.

        • Dear Gradmama2011,

          That is the way that I like to view these presidents who did some good things and some not so good things. Except for Nixon and Trump, I am convinced that these leaders always acted in the US peoples’ interests at heart.

          Both Nixon and Trump had/ have major character flaws, where the best interests of this country were/ are in danger of being compromised.

          Nixon was an intellectual giant in comparison to Trump.

          I have become troubled by the need to demonize both republican and democratic leaders in a disrespectful way were the facts are distorted.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • I tend to be flexible when it comes to supporting these politicians… they all are in the game for what they can get out of it. It’s always picky things that are made big that demonizes.

        • Dear Gradmama2011,

          President Reagan proved once and for all that “trickle down” economics doesn’t work but there are those ready to sing this song again. And the Iran-Contra Scandal did mar his presidency.

          But he was still part of this universe and he was sane. President Trump is not in that category.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • yeah, I kinda liked Reagan, but then I never really like any of them… Reagan wasn’t treasonous, either, and although something of a womanizer he was discreet bout it…no grabbing 🙂

        • one more thing for now.. Reagan’ strengths were largely due to charming personality and people skills, he was gov of Calif and well liked by everone and not really into politics per se. Trump needs to get over hiself and BE the president. Ha fat chance 🙂

        • Dear Gradmama2011,

          President Reagan accepted criticism with grace and humor.

          Both President Nixon and President Trump care too much what others think; are slighted too easily to where they are driven to get even. Both despised the press. One taped himself and the other has a quick twitter finger. In the end, they were the ones to do themselves in.

          Hugs, Gronda

      • oops….I did not publish my post of this morning (about the Mercers) because I suddenly realized I had an appointment very soon…and lost track. SO I suspect you have no idea what I am going on about. Sorry…I am confusing, I know. This is a great case of serendipity or sychronicity or something. please pardon my assumption that your articles about the Mercers were related to my own new preoccupations…. please see my article beginning New Leaf… on my post this morning. When I glanced at the clock I realized I had no time left to dwaddle, and signed off before publishing. Great minds…as they say. 🙂

  2. Reagan was before my time so i did not live thru his policies. Correct me if i’m wrong, but Ronald Reagan was opposed to socialized healthcare, universal health care, or publicly funded health care. In 1961, while still a member of the Democratic party, Reagan voiced his opposition to single-payer healthcare in an 11-minute recording;[23] the idea was beginning to be advocated by the Democratic party. In it, Reagan stated:

    One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It is very easy to describe a medical program as a humanitarian project… Under the Truman administration, it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this… In the last decade, 127 million of our citizns, in just ten years, have come under the protection of some privately-owned medical or hospital insurance. The advocates of [socialized healthcare], when you try to oppose it, challenge you on an emotional basis… What can we do about this? Well you and I can do a great deal. We can write to our [ Congressmen, to our Senators. We can say right now that we want no further encroachment on these individual liberties and freedoms. And at the moment, the key issue is we do not want socialized medicine… 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 well have known it in this country, until one day, as Norman Thomas said, we will awake to find that we have socialism. 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.

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      While all the above is true, we are now talking about an established healthcare program. There is no way that he would have cavalierly be willing to throw millions off the plan and then call it a better product.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Hi Gronda, you do have a valid point. Good example was when he became President:

        Reagan, whose political instincts were generally fabulous, understood this point. In his speech (which the American Medical Association distributed as an LP in 1961), he gleefully quoted a proponent of Medicare as saying, “If we can only break through and get our foot inside the door, then we can expand the program after that.”

        What Reagan got wrong, however, was the definition of socialism. Under socialism, the government controls every major sector of the economy. Under capitalism, most activity happens in private markets, and the government steps in to handle areas where the market struggles to earn a profit – be it defending the country, policing the streets, educating children or providing medical care to the sick and the elderly.

        The best sign that government-guaranteed health insurance doesn’t equal socialism is that Reagan, a president committed to defeating socialism, changed his position on Medicare once it became law. As president, he not only didn’t try to repeal it; he vowed to protect it. Two decades later, another Republican president – George W. Bush – expanded it, just as Reagan predicted it would expand in 1961.

        The reaction to last week’s Supreme Court decision was a sign that Obamacare has entered the very beginnings of its Medicare phase. The law will still come under attack, especially rhetorically. But it’s here to stay. We know that because some of its most virulent opponents just decided that a victory for Obamacare was actually a victory for them.

        Reagan was correct in this regard, once a social program takes hold, it’s virtually impossible to repeal it b/c it becomes a part of society, affecting millions. Looks like the ACA is here to stay, politicians can only tweak it for better or worse.

        • Dear 1EarthUnited,

          On this, I agree on your thinking. I often hear from republicans that we should let market forces determine price, distribution availability of health care which is just another talking point they use reflexively,

          The trouble is that when one breaks a leg, he/she is not in a position to go price shopping. And unfortunately, emergency circumstances are a major part of health care like auto accidents, mass gun shootings, heart attacks, stroke victims, etc.

          Lawmakers cannot put healthcare in the same basket as someone purchasing a car.

          Hugs, Gronda

  3. Dear Mz. Gronda,
    It was just announced that the “Turtle” has taken it down from the vote and will wait until after the 4th to try to pass it.

  4. As an outsider from the UK’s hard-left it says it all when I compare today’s façade of an administration with the days of Reagan & Nixon and think ‘Hmmm…maybe they weren’t so bad,’

    Dark sarcasm warning…..

    And, what do you know? It seems Joe McCarthy was right; there are Pro-Russian agents in the higher reaches of government!
    And have brained-washed a sizeable portion of the population into believing the propaganda… Wow!

    • Dear Roger,

      Remember Margaret Thatcher. When I say that even she would not vote for this republican senate healthcare bill because of its extreme cruelty, I am trying to make a point. Oh, Snap!

      I who lived through Ronald Reagan who was far from perfect, can sincerely declare that he did not exhibit this extreme lack of compassion as what I am seeing now. His son Ron Reagan who is a TV pundit would say likewise. And he would have been no fan of President Trump.

      I am reminding all those republican party loyalists to not refer to their hero, in pushing forward this bill.

      This bill is beyond cruel.

      Hugs, Gronda

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