John Lanius points out that in April of 1961, then-private-citizen Ronald Reagan warned,

The legislative chips are down. In the next few months Americans will decide whether or not this nation wants socialized medicine . . . first for its older citizens, soon for all its citizens. The pivotal point in the campaign is a bill currently before Congress. The King bill (HR 4222), another Forand-type bill, is a proposal to finance medical care for all persons on Social Security over 65, regardless of financial need, through the social security tax mechanism. Proponents admit the bill is a “foot in the door” for socialized medicine. Its eventual effect–across-the-board, government medicine for everyone!

Thanks to Virginia Postrel for the pointer.

For Discussion. Was this fear about Medicare justified?