Glitch-plagued health law rollout echoes earlier flawed debuts, even for Social Security

FILE This Nov. 27, 2013 file photo of part of the HealthCare.gov website page featuring information about the SHOP Marketplace is photographed in Washington. Although multiple problems have snarled the rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, it's hardly the first time a new, sprawling government program has been beset by early technical glitches, political hostility and gloom-and-doom denouncements. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

WASHINGTON - Multiple problems have snarled the rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

But it's hardly the first time a new, sprawling government program has been beset by early technical glitches, political hostility and gloom-and-doom denouncements.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced heavy skepticism with his launch of Social Security from 1935 to 1937. And turbulence also rocked subsequent key presidential initiatives, including Lyndon Johnson's rollout of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, Richard Nixon's Supplemental Security Income program in 1974 and George W. Bush's Medicare prescription drugs program in 2006.

Yet these programs today are enormously popular with recipients.

Obama and allies hope history will repeat itself with the health overhaul.


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