Quick Read: When Medicare Launched, Nobody Had Any Clue Whether It Would Work

Washington Post WonkBlog reporter Sarah Kliff tweeted Friday morning that this piece is “fun with newspaper archives.” And indeed it is.

Kliff embedded and artfully linked together clips from newspapers past, clips that tell the story of the Medicare rollout.

It’s almost as if today’s Obamacare rollout news is ripped from yesterday’s headlines: “5,000 Aged To Be Hired in New Medicare Drive” or “Selling Elderly on Medicare is Not Easy.”

“Medicare workers in Washington are learning that door-to-door selling is a rugged job,” a writer in this newspaper declared 47 years ago.
It was March 3, 1966, after a Washington Post reporter had spent the day trailing Medicare workers who tried to sign seniors up for new program. Some didn’t answer the door.

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