"socialized medicine" scare tactics

Ron Chusid points out at Liberal Values that the Right's scare tactics about "socialized medicine" go back way past the "Harry & Louise" ads in the 1990s. Ronald Reagan was a propaganda pitchman for the Right in this 1961 address (audio only) bankrolled by the AMA as part of Operation Coffee Cup:

As noted by Chusid, Reagan's predictions "didn't come true, just like the predictions from those proclaiming health care reform must inevitably lead to doom are unlikely to come true:"

Despite the claims from the right, Medicare provides health care coverage more economically than private plans. Despite all the scare stories of government taking control of health care, Medicare also tends to intervene in medical decisions far less than many private plans. The scare stories about "socialized medicine" were greatly exaggerated while nobody predicted all the problems under corporate-controlled medicine.

Digby's post at Hullabaloo looks at the history of Medicare and other national healthcare proposals, observing that "right now there is a real chance for the first time in 65 years to enact universal health care, however imperfect the specifics of it may be:"

I'm sure whatever they pass will be inadequate, just as medicare and social security were inadequate when they were originally passed. It seems to be the American way. But if our political and business elites have finally come to the consensus that America should join the first world and create a system that guarantees coverage to everyone, then I think we have to take the leap while we can. History shows that these chances don't come along every day. In fact, they come along about every couple of decades and we very rarely can even take an incremental step. We need to get universal health care on the books.

I have only two words to offer: single payer.


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