Back to the (Obamacare) Future?

“Selling Elderly on Medicare Is Not Easy” is the headline to an article written March 3, 1996. There’s more in this great Sarah Kliff retrospective about the lead up to what was termed “M-Day,” highlighting the great uncertainly over what would happen post-Medicare implementation. One of the newspaper clippings included in the piece:

MedicareClip3

From the Kliff article:

“What will happen then, on that summer day when the federally insured system of paying hospital bills becomes reality?” Nona Brown, a New York Times reporter, wondered in a story published April 23, 1966. “Will there be lines of old folks at hospital doors, with no rooms to put them in, too few doctors and nurses and technicians to care for them?”

Seem familiar? Yet forty-seven years later these and other outcries from the past register little more than chuckles and head shaking. The past is no guarantee of the future, of course, but it’s worth keeping in mind some of the arguments and worries we’ve faced when big changes occur. Some of the same fears persist, but if hindsight is unkind to rhetoric surrounding Medicare it’s not unreasonable to expect the same for the Affordable Care Act.

This does make me wonder, though, about the kind of future laughs we could get from similarly written headlines today. Maybe something like “Selling Uninsured on Obamacare Is Not Easy,” or “Selling Chronic Health Sufferers on Pre-Existing Protections Is Not Easy.” My favorite, posted on Twitter:

 

 

Any other good suggestions?

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