A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 14, 2011
Mediscare (Medicare + scare)

"Mediscare” or “Medi-scare” (Medicare + scare) is to frighten current or future Medicare recipients about cuts to Medicare and potential loss of medical coverage. The term “Mediscare” began in the 1970s to refer to companies selling Medicare supplemental insurance by scaring senior citizens. The senior citizens often purchased these supplemental programs that offered little or no additional benefits.

“Mediscare” was popularized in 1995-1996, when Republicans sought to cut the federal budget. Democrats ran advertisements targeted at seniors stating that Republicans would take their Medicare away. Republicans termed this “scare tactics” and ‘Medi-scare.”

“Mediscare” was used again in 2011, as Republican Congressman Paul Ryan produced a cost-cutting federal budget. Democrats attacked it for cutting Medicare, and Republicans again called the attacks “Mediscare.”

The term “Mediscare” can also have a non-Medicare use to mean “mediscare” (medical + scare), but this use has been rare.

Wikipedia: Medicare (United States)
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other special criteria. Medicare in the United States somewhat resembles a single-payer health care system, but is not entirely one, as Canada’s Medicare is. In any U.S. “Original Medicare” plan, i.e. Medicare without Medicare Advantage added on, coverage extends to 80% of any given medical cost; the remaining 20% of cost must be paid either a Medicare Advantage plan, which is a “supplemental insurance” from a private health insurance company (normally requiring a monthly insurance premium paid to that company by the holder), or even out-of-pocket via the patient’s own personal funds (check, money order, cash, etc).

The Medicare program also funds residency training programs for the vast majority of physicians in the United States.

The Social Security Act of 1965 was signed into law on July 30, 1965, by President Lyndon B. Johnson as amendments to existing Social Security legislation. This legislation included the establishing of the Medicare program. At the bill-signing ceremony, Johnson enrolled former President Harry S. Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary and presented him with the first Medicare card, and Truman’s wife Bess, the second.

Urban Dictionary
Coined by George W. Bush in the first debate against John Kerry. Meaning senators scared of a giving away precious tax dollars to the US Medical System.
Bush - In the senate these days its not medicare… Its mediscare!
by HitAndRun Oct 20, 2004

28 August 1973, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, “Fitness Is Ageless...and forever young at heart” by Lawrence Frankel, pg. 6A, cols. 2-3:
Many of the elderly do not qualify for either medicare or medicaid, and for those who do—a medicare might mean mediscare and medicaid—too little aid.

Google News Archive
15 December 1977, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, “Some Insurance Labeled a Ripoff,” Waukesha County News, pg. 1, col. 6:
Sales of some medicare supplemental insurance policies constitue “a multi-million-dollar ripoff of our senior citizens” and are “nothing less than a national disgrace,” according to Harold R. Wilde, state insurance commissioner.
Calling the practices Mediscare, Wilde said that “none of the ringleaders in this racket have gone to jail and some are still making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year at it.”

Google Books
December 1978, Changing Times (The Kiplinger Magazine), pg. 11, col. 1:
Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Harold R. Wilde charged at a Senate hearing that “medi-scare” insurance agents use lists of infirm and senile old people to locate sales prospects.

New York (NY) Times
By Peter Kerr
Published: June 16, 1984
‘’Million of dollars have been wasted by victims of medi-scare tactics,’’ said James Hunt, the director of the National Insurance Consumer Organization, a nonprofit group based in Alexandria, Va. ‘’People are frightened into buying insurance they don’t really need.’’

New York (NY) Times
Medicare, Not Medi-scare
By Harry Schwartz; Harry Schwartz is writer in residence at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.
Published: January 30, 1986
More and more of us who are senior citizens are becoming uneasy about our prospects for good medical care. As Washington’s budget crunch gets ever tighter, the White House and most of Congress unite in thinking that the prime Medicare problem is saving money rather than trying to guarantee senior citizens the same high quality medical care in the future that we have enjoyed in the past.

16 June 1987, Washington (DC) Post, “Caught in the Medigap” by Don Oldenburg, pg. F5:
Mercedes Bern calls the medigap abuses “Medi-scare.”

New York (NY) Daily News
Friday, September 22th 1995, 4:34AM
WASHINGTON New York hospitals say Newt Gingrich’s Medicare plan would be a body blow to them, costing billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs.

30 October 1996, Washington (DC) Post, “GOP Says Foes Using ‘Mediscare’” by Spencer S. Hsu and Ellen Nakashima, pg. B6:
New mailings from Democratic U.S. Senate challenger Mark R. Warner on the issue of Medicaid and Medicare drew cries of foul yesterday from the incumbent, Virginia Republican John W. Warner, and a disavowal from the American Association of Retired Persons.

“Most Virginia families can’t afford nursing home care. Now, John Warner has a solution—SELL YOUR HOUSE,” said the mailing about Medicaid, which has not been sent out yet but was obtained by the Republican campaign.

14 July 2001, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Bush Discusses Plans to Reform Medicare” by Edwin Chen, pg. A13:
“That’s why, in the political vernacular, they call it ‘Medi-scare’—because somebody who comes along and tries to do what’s right will have the issue used against him for political purposes,” he (President George W. Bush—ed.) said.

Washington (DC) Post
Posted at 05:25 PM ET, 05/12/2011
What’s a ‘Mediscare’?
By Ezra Klein
It is, of course, amusing to see Republicans asking for a truce on Medicare after they won the last election demagoguing Medicare cuts that they then included in their budget. But I’m more interested in what, exactly, that truce would entail. In particular, I’d really like to hear more from the House Republicans on what separates an accurate description of Paul Ryan’s Medicare program from a “Mediscare.” Their letter asking President Obama to crack down on “these disingenuous attacks” includes no examples of the disingenuous attacks in question, so we’re left to guess about them. Is “privatization” the loaded word? Saying the GOP budget “ends Medicare as we know it?” Calling it a “voucher program?”

Krauthammer Scolds ‘Inside Washington’ Host for Calling GOP ‘Mediscare’ Letter Hypocritical
By Noel Sheppard | May 14, 2011 | 12:11
“Inside Washington” host Gordon Peterson on Friday joined the ranks of liberal media members claiming Republican calls for Democrats to stop saying the GOP is trying to destroy Medicare is hypocritical due to their support for Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) budget proposal.
PETERSON: That’s freshman Republican Congressman Alan Nunnelee in a campaign ad last year as he ran against the incumbent Democrat. Nunnelee said, and I quote, “I will honor the greatest generation by always protecting Social Security and Medicare.” Then he came to Washington, he was confronted by political reality. He is one of 42 House Republican freshmen who wrote a letter to President Obama this week urging him to get the Democrats to abandon “Mediscare” tactics.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (0) Comments • Saturday, May 14, 2011 • Permalink