Medicare and Social Security Passed Because of Republicans?

RECEIVED Fri., March 26, 2010

Dear Editor,
    Re: “Isn't It Called Hypocrisy?” [“Postmarks” online, March 22]: Allen, you need to check your history. The programs you mention, Medicare and Social Security, were largely passed through Congress because of the Republicans. Larger percentages of Republicans voted for both of them than did the Democrats. No need for you to apologize, just get your facts straight next time.
Kevin Hall
   [News Editor Michael King responds: According to the official Social Security histories available online (, the final version of the Social Security bill (Aug. 8, 1935) passed the House 372-33, with support from 89% of the Democrats, 79% of the Republicans. The Senate percentages were 87% of Democrats, 64% of Republicans. On July 27, 1965, the House adopted the Medicare bill 307-116, with support of 81% of Democrats, 50% of Republicans. The next day the Senate passed the bill, 70-24, including 84% of Democrats, 41% of Republicans. Of course these were very different parties than exist today, and the Republicans were not then committed to total obstruction, although they did fight the bills until the final votes, when many signed on. But in each instance, significantly higher numbers and percentages of Democrats supported the two bills.]
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