A health care bill to expand Medicare and increase taxes to pay for it passes both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate by wide margins and is signed by the President. Most people who are paying attention think that, for good or ill, this expansion of government will be with us forever. But just 17 months later, the law is repealed. Whereas it was passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 328 to 72, the same House, with only a slight change of membership, votes 360 to 66 to repeal the bill. The new President, who, as Vice-President, had urged the President to sign the original bill, now signs the bill to repeal.

The bill described above was the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act, which President Reagan signed into law in June 1988 after it got bipartisan support in the House and Senate. Both the House and Senate repealed it less than two years later.

This is from my “‘Losers’ are the Key to Undoing Obamacare,” which ran on Monday. I draw lessons from the repeal of Reagan’s expansion of Medicare for repeal of Obamacare.

Link fixed. Thanks Eric–and Thomas.