OK if I hear “Obama’s Health Care Reform is Communist ( or Socialist )” on more time I think my head is going to explode. The above statement is not only inaccurate on 2 points but it’s more a reflection of the ignorance of the person making the statement than it is a statement about the proposed health care reform.
First Obama hasn’t proposed any kind of legislation on Health Care. None, not one line. He’s getting ready too after 2 months of waiting for congress to get it’s act together. But there has been nothing from him yet. So… if you want to lambast the Democratic Plan, the Congressional Plan, or whatever … have fun but pinning the tale on the President in this case is just silly.
Second and more importantly as it speaks to a serious problem with the Political Right in this country, Democrats are not Socialist. Every time anything comes up that doesn’t put government money in the hands of people insteand of multi-billion dollar corporations the Right has taken to screaming ”Communist!!! Socialist!!!” Which is simply not the case. I won’t babble on about left wing political theory, instead I’ll just offer two examples of what Communist and Socialist healthcare reform might look like.
Communist Healthcare Reform would nationalize all healthcare service providers including Hospitals, Dr. Offices, Insurance Companies, First Responders, and Clinics. It would then Kill, imprison, or convert the owners, boards of directors, and executives of all of these organizations. Healthcare would be free to everybody and no competition to the state run plan would be permitted.
Socialist Healthcare Reform is nicer but it still involves the government take over of at least all the processes involved in health care. While socialists aren’t likely to kill anybody or even require that anybody agree with them, a socialist plan would nationalize or mostly nationalize all organizations associated with healthcare. Doctors become employees of the state, hospitals become government run/owned facilities, health insurance companies go away entirely. How this is accomplished varies, often executives become government employees and companies are bought out.
The current Healthcare Reform plans do none of the above. It imposes a few regulations here and there, mostly to make sure insurance companies aren’t unreasonably sending people to their death or into bankruptcy and it provides for a government run plan in the market.
Alot is made of the government run plan, mostly but not entirely it’s all hype. If you think for a moment such a plan would put all other plans out of business you need only to look at the USPS, Fed Ex, UPS, and DHL. The USPS provides a minimum level of service, it’s mostly adequate, quite reliable and lacks any real bells and whistles. It exists because basic Mail service is essential to the functioning of our country. It has to be there and it has to be reliable. For those who want all the bells and whistles private companies are the way to go ( well mostly. I’ve had plenty a parcel destroyed by UPS. ) Both private and profit driven industry and basic government service exist in the same market with no real problems.
Now I could go on about how basic healthcare is essential to the continued growth and the economic survival of the country especially diseases being spread world wide in hours. I could talk about how leaving even small enclaved portions of the population unable to receive treatment for these diseases puts us all at risk. But I won’t. Those are value judgments we all have to make and the facts may not be on my side in the end. However those are the discussions we should be having, not “Obama is a Socialist!” or psycho ditz babbling about “Death Panels.”
I’m not saying the Right Wing is wrong on this issue. There are real dangers afoot here. However taking cues from Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Bill O’reilly doesn’t solve the problem. We need to grow up, learn to talk rationally and not scream emotionally.