Sometimes communication frustrates me.
Insurance is a very much a form of limited voluntary socialism. People pay into insurance programs roughly according to ability (people tend to buy additional coverage as they can afford) and the insurance program pays out according to need (at least, it is supposed to). Risk is spread out over large numbers of people. Consumers are shielded from the effects of prices on their decisions and there is little transparency. Thus, the US health care system, being as dependent on insurance as it is, is already quasi-socialist.
With the recently passed law mandating the purchase of insurance by individuals, and restricting further what types of policies insurance companies can offer (no more denials for pre-existing conditions), the voluntary and limited aspects of the system have ended and we are left with just socialism. The system we are now entering is therefore aptly called “socialized medicine.”
So it frustrates me when I hear people using the term “socialized medicine” as I do being marginalized as crazy, liars, exaggerators, or worse. Of course it is socialized medicine! What else would you call it? How can we have a reasonable discussion of the merits of the plan when people refuse to name it what it clearly is?
Likewise, I was confused and surprised when Mit Romney, during the Republican primary, said that his health care plan differed from the “big-government” plans of the Democrats because it was based on “free market solutions” to the problem of rising costs. What is “free market” about a mandate to purchase insurance?
Are we speaking the same language?
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.