A commenter recently informed me that I cannot be a conservative or a Republican unless I support getting rid of Medicare and all other federal regulation of health care.  I’m sure that Medicare can be improved, and I might even support a law saying that an individual state should be able to opt out of both Medicare taxes and Medicare payments if the state thinks it can do a better job.  However, I do NOT favor elimination of Medicare.  Does that mean I can’t be a conservative or a Republican?

Consider what was said on October 28, 1980:

JIMMY CARTER: In the past, the relationship between Social Security and Medicare has been very important to provide some modicum of aid for senior citizens in the retention of health benefits. Governor Reagan, as a matter of fact, began his political career campaigning around this nation against Medicare . . . .

RONALD REAGAN: There you go again [Laughter]. When I opposed Medicare, there was another piece of legislation meeting the same problem before the Congress. I happened to favor the other piece of legislation and thought it would be better for the senior citizens and provide better care than the one that was finally passed. I was not opposing the principle of providing care for them. I was opposing one piece of legislation versus another.

A modest suggestion: if some Redstaters want to get rid of Medicare, keep that goal hush-hush, because it might hinder their credibility as we try to stop the current attempt by congressional Democrats to take over a sixth of the economy.