Claims of socialism are really laughable
I recently read another amusingly delusional letter in The News concerning the Affordable Care Act. The writer claimed that Obamacare is diminishing our freedoms, and is dragging the United States into a dystopian socialist future where wealth is redistributed from rich to poor, comparable to the coercive system in Soviet Russia, and contrary to our Constitution and free-enterprise system.
The writer clearly has no understanding that the model for the ACA was Massachusetts, whose system was created specifically as a free-market driven system by the conservative Heritage Foundation and others, where the existing medical insurance companies are allowed to sell policies to individuals. In particular, the free-market conservatives were the ones who came up with the much-hated “individual mandate,” where everyone has to buy into the system, because they understood that insurance only works financially if there is a large pool of covered people – not all of whom will get sick and require care.
Amusingly, a true socialist solution would have been to expand Medicare for all, a much simpler and less expensive solution to universal health care, which would have cut out all the overhead and profit skimmed off by the insurance companies to no benefit to the insured. Somehow, all other modern industrial democracies except the United States figured out how to do this successfully a long time ago, and they haven’t degenerated into coercive socialist horror.
The sad part is that a lot of people miss one of the real examples of socialism in the United States – the redistribution of tax income upward to benefit the rich. This is perfectly illustrated by the Wall Street bank bailouts, the taxpayer funding of sports stadiums and our local IDAs shoveling tax revenue toward supposedly job-creating business ventures by hugely profitable companies. Now there’s a socialism you can truly despise.
Eric A. Gallion