Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine -- in 1961!

This is amazing. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history! See if this message doesn't sound hauntingly relevant for today.

Ronald Reagan recorded this in 1961 to help the American Medical Association in their (unsuccessful) opposition to creation of Medicare.


  1. This was an interesting clip! Thanks for sharing, Daniel. There was one point where I disagreed with former president Reagan. He mentioned the people's rejection of socialized medicine during Truman's administration as evidence to imply that the American people have spoken clearly before and thus they will speak out again in opposition to socialized healthcare. I don't really accept this claim. To accept is assumption that the demographics as well as the social, political, and economic context for people's decisions were and are unchanging is rather unrealistic. I don't accept popular thought to be an unwaivering position, but instead to be an entity evolving.

    I was also just curious about why you personally oppose universal healthcare/ socialized medicine. Is it a religious conviction, something explicitly explored/warned against in the Bible? Or is this a belief having to do with your own personal politics? This is really interesting stuff with which to wrestle. Thanks for getting me thinking!

  2. Hi Kyle,

    Great to hear from you!

    I agree with you about that comment of Reagan's being illogical. He was probably saying it in an attempt to instill the character (of resisting socialism) he was praising Americans for already having. This is a common psychological technique (not just among politicians!). If Americans were already so anti-socialism, why did he even need to record this message?

    My opposition to socialism (in any sphere, including healthcare) definitely does find support in the Bible, but I think I would probably oppose socialism even if I were not a follower of Jesus. Socialism undermines individual responsibility, which is the root of enterprise, initiative, and creativity. As someone who does not have health insurance, I can assure you that my desire to avoid the high cost of medical care has already motivated me to take better care of my body and to learn for myself what natural treatments really work.

    Here is a link to a page that gives a somewhat more detailed argument against socialized health care. There are probably other aspects of this that could be stated with more precision and detail. I apologize for not having a more comprehensive writing to refer you to, off the top of my head. If you have questions or want to discuss any aspect of this more specifically, feel free to write back!

    By the way, through your profile I discovered your "Summer in Shijiazhuang" blog. Wow, wish I had known about it earlier. Very fascinating details on Chinese culture!