The 1965 amendments actually proved very easy to legislate, with over 70 percent majorities in both chambers. President Johnson signed the bill on July 30. No disruptive town-hall meetings or tea parties that August!
Although I’m pleased that the 2009 bill is taking a lot longer, I must confess surprise. Maybe Medicare did not launch us down the slippery slope to socialized medicine, as Ronald Reagan feared. Maybe its shortcomings have served as a warning. It’s too early to tell — but I’m optimistic.