They said one program would end freedom in America, and worried that another was akin to socialism.
No, we're not talking about aspects of the Affordable Care Act.
If you think politicians are up in arms about the upcoming launch of Obamacare, you must not be old enough to remember the name-calling and dire predictions that predicated the introduction of two other major legislative milestones: Medicare and Social Security.
"There is a history around these government programs of controversy, of fear, of partisan division and ideological debates," said Jonathan Oberlander, a professor of health policy and management at the University of North Carolina.
Of course, both Social Security and Medicare were enacted despite such opposition—and in both cases, experts say they quickly became quite popular and have stayed that way.
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"We've been through this before, and in some ways that's comforting because Medicare and Social Security turned out OK," Oberlander said.
But although the rhetoric around Social Security and Medicare was dire, experts say it was not nearly as venomous as the current fight over Obamacare, which has included an all-night speech replete with references to Nazism and threats of a government shutdown.
"The current debate is an order of magnitude more intense, dishonest and verging on indictable than was the case with either of those programs," said Henry Aaron, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution and an expert on health-care financing.
Experts say Social Security, in the 1930s, and Medicare, in the 1960s, were established at times when the partisan divide between Republicans and Democrats was not nearly as strong as it is today.
In addition, during both periods the Democrats pushing for the programs had a much stronger grip on political power.
"There were some people very strongly opposed to Medicare (and) very strongly opposed to Social Security, but politically they did not have the clout that those opposed to Obamacare, or ACA, have today," said Daniel Beland, a professor of public policy at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, and an expert on the U.S. Social Security and Medicare systems.
Still, the fears about Social Security and Medicare are surprisingly similar to the ones critics have raised about the Affordable Care Act today.
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The Social Security Act, which in 1935 introduced old-age insurance, unemployment insurance and other social welfare programs, faced critics who worried it would threaten democracy itself.
"Isn't this socialism?" one senator, Thomas Pryor Gore, a Democrat from Oklahoma, asked at one point.
Three decades later, the plan to introduce Medicare also faced foes including the American Medical Association and Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
Another critic was Ronald Reagan. In 1961, the future president recorded a speech in which painted a dark picture of a time in which doctors would be told by the government which patients they could see, and where.