Letters to the Editor

Health care is not socialism

It seems that there is a significant group of people in this country who constantly tell us that the U.S. is the greatest country in the history of the world but that it is ruled by the most corrupt, vicious, ignorant, even "evil" government that the world has known. Well, we should all remember the first words of the Constitution, "We the people." We are the government, we elect representatives to do our bidding. The majority of the electorate, the people, just voted for representatives to, among other things, improve health care in this country.

Now, the paranoids, the conspiracy theorists, and the Chicken Littles are out repeating the distortions, misinformation and outright lies about health reform that have been propagated by the special interests who profit from the status quo. There are no "death panels" in any reform bill and even some Republicans (the honorable ones) have called out Sarah Palin on that lie. There is no socialism in the bills; in fact, anyone who says that obviously has no idea what socialism is. These are the same Big Lie propaganda tools used by those who want us to bypass rational thought and react with blind passion.

These are the same forces who said Social Security would lead to the doom of the U.S., who said Medicare was socialized medicine and would destroy the medical profession. These are the people who apparently fail to notice the thousands of cases each year, many right here in Washington, in which an insurance company refuses to cover someone for a catastrophic illness and drives another family into bankruptcy. When was the last time you heard of Medicare refusing to cover one of its insured? How many of the elderly in our community would willingly give up Medicare for private coverage? How many of those on Medicare can afford to buy the private policies sold by the insurance companies that pay their executives tens of millions of dollars in salaries? If you think health reform is expensive, just remember this: the administrative costs of Medicare (you know, government run socialized medicine) are a tiny fraction of those of the private companies.

And finally think about this: the most socialistic institution in America is our military, the most honored and rightly praised part of our government. Does anyone out there want to turn over our national defense to a private corporation which has the primary goal of profit? Why would we want our health in the hands of people who think first of profit and last about the sick?

Robert DuChaine


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