Sometimes I wonder if politicians really know what they are actually mouthing off about? Take the recent discussion surrounding both Hillary Clinton’s proposal for universal healthcare and Bush’s veto on SCHIP.
Somehow, some way, two words are always brought up to attack the left side of the story: SOCIALIZED MEDICINE.
The term is the new boogie man used to scare ignorant, but otherwise well-intentioned, old-school fiscal conservatives. What does the term even mean? That the state should provide a minimum level of healthcare to all of its citizens? The last time I checked, that appeared to be a legitimate public good (not in the economic sense, but in the moral sense).
Or so Americans think anyways. But whenever the words “socialized medicine” are brought up, we automatically go into Cold War mode, reverting back to the same old rhetoric. Listen people, communism is no longer a spectre that haunts the globe; there is no more left to contain.
It just amuses me to the most that the same people who bring up “socialized medicine” as a response are also the same people who have no problem with the fact that education is also public and universal. Why isn’t our current educational system “socialized education” by that very same logic?
Yet no politician can get away with making this kind of argument, because that’s political suicide. So who are the hypocrites here? All this hypocrisy shows is that our policies are shaped by the public, so there is no reason why a universal healthcare system is normatively wrong if the public supports it.
Just how long do we have to bear with the Socialist Boogeyman? The Cold War is over; communism is no longer a threat; but maybe some people in DC haven’t been up to speed.