It seems that many independents and right-wingers are convinced the health care bill is part of a vast conspiracy to implement socialism in the USA. Here’s a recent post from the Left, Right & Center blog on the KCRW website by an author called Florida_Independent:
“I cannot believe how anyone who calls themselves an American can get behind legislation that places a mandate on individuals to buy health insurance. It is a travesty and for the first time in my life I plan on getting involved in politics. I will work to defeat any Rep. or Sen. who voted in favor of this monstrosity. Capitalism is not perfect, but it is the best system out there and this bill is designed to push the nation toward socalism. I don’t see how you can look at it any other way. Your beloved Obama ran his campaign promising that he would not seek a mandate because it was wrong. Guess what, it is still wrong and he is proving that he has the intenstinal fortitude of a fruit fly. I can only hope that the courts will overturn this before it takes effect.”
Why does this author have to attack anyone who supports the health care bill as un-American? It’s law that you have to have insurance if you want to drive. I think this makes sense in the same way. If you want a more affordable health care system, support this legislation. The current version of the health care bill does not have a public option, so there is little in it you could call socialism. The current bill has non-profit insurance exchanges that may be able to provide more affordable care to the uninsured , unemployed and the underinsured. It makes sense that you should have to pay a penalty if you don’t buy a plan, because when you get healthcare by showing up at the emergency room, you are transferring the costs to the hospital and thus raising the rates for everyone else who pays into the system. So, we might as well mandate that everyone has to buy it, which should help drive costs down. Without a public option or single-payer system, the mandate to buy is one of the best levers left to control costs. Although I would vastly prefer a government run single-payer system to the bill that is about to get passed, I think this bill is a step in the right direction and better than the status quo.
We are the only industrialized country in the world that has neither national health care nor a public option and it is costing us dearly. The fear of socialism has become so entrenched among independents and the right that we have become incapable of accepting even a public option. How is it that we have managed to have Social Security and Medicare for so long and still remain a Capitalist country? It is because it is possible to have strong markets and strong government programs that co-exist and support each another. If you really want Capitalism without any social programs, take the economic disaster of the past year and intensify it by orders of magnitude equal to the next great depression and that will be the natural end-product of the return to laissez faire economics that most independents and Republicans seem to advocate.
The extent to which the rich and powerful have increasingly exploited and manipulated the poor and middle class is the direct result of the past 30 years of increasingly more conservative legislation that has slashed taxes to unsusustainable levels while removing appropriate oversight and government intervention from banking, energy, education and the environment.
The world view of the author above, Florida_Independent, will only lead to a more entrenched oligarchy, massive underemployment, sickness, exploitation and global flooding, while those of us in favor of national health care or a public option want fairness, democracy, decency and even strong markets for most goods and services to prevail….not totalitarian socialism.