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Satire: Make Ronald Reagan's day and kill Medicare

February 2, 2011 |  1:04 pm

Reagan

Do away with Medicare. Do it for the Great Communicator.

Ronald Reagan would've been 100 on Sunday. Could there be a better way for Republicans to honor him than to kill Medicare, a program he railed against, saying it would bring socialism to America?

In 1961, Reagan spoke about congressional efforts that eventually led to Medicare. He said:

"What can we do about this? Well, you and I can do a great deal. We can write to our congressmen and 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."

He really was ahead of his time. 

So why are members of the GOP, who genuflect at every mention of Reagan's name, even bothering with the small-potatoes effort to repeal the new healthcare overhaul law, such as Wednesday's scheduled vote in the Senate? They need to go after the big dog. 

Yes, there are some practical problems. For one, Americans really like Medicare. 

But too bad -- I like Ferraris, but I can't afford one. A Ferrari probably wouldn't even be good for me; I'd run off with some young thing and make a fool of myself. I might even become a socialist.

And America is even poorer than I am.

Plus Medicare doesn't help me personally. I'm too young. My parents are dead. My in-laws aren't, but they drive me crazy.

Sure, my sister finally got medical coverage again through Medicare. She had healthcare a few years ago through her husband's work, but he was employed by Enron, and we all know how that worked out.

I have a heart; I wish she could keep her Medicare. But she can't. It's socialism. Reagan said so.

I will propose a break for her, though. We'll do away with Medicare by age, and alphabetically. She's fairly young for an old person, and her last name begins in the middle of the alphabet, so that should buy her a few more years.

Still, she's generally healthy -- if drinking red wine really does help you live longer, she'll make 100 easy -- so she still might need some kind of healthcare.

Some visionary Republicans have that covered too: A voucher system. 

I think they should call it the "Ronald Reagan Free Enterprise Death-to-Medicare Act."

Under it, the government would give vouchers to seniors, which they would take to all of those companies lining up to compete to insure a bunch of old, sick people.

I guess it would be like those coupon mailers Costco sends out: "25% off open-heart surgery, this month only" or "2-for-1 colonoscopies."

So my sister will get medical care, and the struggling insurance companies will make a little money. And they need the money -- like the one Tuesday that agreed to pony up $700 million to put its name on L.A.'s new pro football stadium (which isn't built) where L.A.'s new pro football team (which we don't have) will play.

It would be nice to do away with Social Security too, because that's even more socialistic than Medicare. Maybe the GOP can save that one for Reagan's 150th anniversary. 

It's OK by me. I'll be dead by then.

Happy birthday, Gipper.

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What do President Obama and Ronald Reagan have in common?

-- Paul Whitefield

Photo: Ronald and Nancy Reagan in January 1981. Credit: EPA / Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

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