Labor Secretary: Reagan ‘Was Wrong’ About Medicare Leading to Socialized Medicine

By Eric Scheiner | March 13, 2015 | 3:21pm EDT


1961 Album: Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine

( - U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says he owns a recording of former President Ronald Reagan claiming that Medicare will lead to socialized medicine and that Reagan “was wrong.”

Perez was praising the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the Consumer Issues Conference in Washington, D.C. Friday when he said: “You know, I’ve got this thing in my office - it’s an album cover of Ronald Reagan in the 60’s saying Medicare will lead to socialized medicine.”

“Actually, if you listen to the album, because I got a little curious and I listened to the album, it says Medicare will lead to socialism in America. He was wrong. Medicare has led to retirement security in America for millions and has become a staple of who we are, and the ACA is in the process of doing that same thing.”

On a 1961 recording released as “Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine,” Reagan says: “One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It is very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project –most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people that possibly can’t afford it.”

“Congressman Ferrand introduced the Ferrand bill. This was the idea that all people of Social Security age should be brought under a program of compulsory health insurance,” Reagan continues. “Now this would not only be our senior citizens, this would be the dependents and those who are disabled, this would be young people if they are dependents of someone eligible for Social Security.”

“Now, Congressman Ferrand brought the program out on that idea of just for that particular group of people. But Congressman Ferrand was subscribing to this foot-in-the door philosophy because he said: “If we can only break through and get our foot inside the door, then we can expand the program after that.”

“Well, let us see what the socialists themselves had to say about it,” Reagan continues. “They say once the Ferrand bill is passed, this nation will be provided with a mechanism for socialized medicine capable of indefinite expansion in every direction until it includes the entire population. Now, we can’t say we haven’t been warned.”

As previously reported, some Democratic lawmakers have discussed the idea of providing Medicare to people of all ages last week.

“Why not, at some point, Medicare for the whole country?” asked Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).  “It's simpler, it's easier to explain, it's easier to understand, it's better with cost-containment, [and] most importantly it gives everybody an understandable, comprehensive health insurance."

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