Obamacare supporters are quick to distance the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal health care reform measure signed into law in 2010, from the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1989, but some parallels do exist.

For one, seniors in 1989 on Medicare balked at the higher premiums associated with catastrophic care (which was mandated and not optional), and for two, the nation wasn't ready for a major health care facelift.

Obamacare supporters say this time it's different, even though both Democrats and Republicans in 1989 rushed to repeal the Medicare act in the face of a public outcry over both cost and lack of desire for the new protections.

Time, of course, will tell when it comes to Obamacare, but the New York Times today has a feature worth reading titled "Lesson Is Seen in Failure of 1989 Law on Medicare."