Socialism: That dreaded word.
In the Healthcare debate the Republicans like to throw around the word socialism. (ok it’s not just in the Healthcare debate they like to throw that word around they use it for everything “Allowing Gays in the Military is Socialism”, “Not giving members of congress pay raises is socialism”, “Allowing companies to bid on government contracts is Socialism”. They use that word in debates like I use the phrase “Donkey Raping Shit Eater” when talking to a collection agency.) In this case they actually do have a point, it’s a silly point but a point, nonetheless.
Socialism - a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
By definition all Government Actions are Socialist policies. The military, roads, library, post office, and police are socialist entities. If you take the “ownership” part out of the definition and just look at the “control” part of Socialism, the current healthcare system is Socialist.
In the 1800’s we as a nation decided that food and healthcare couldn’t be a “buyer beware” type of sale. In our food supply it was decided that the government could make sure what was being sold was pure before customers attacked the milk companies for watering down their milk after they found a trout in the bottle.
The Government also monitors the quality of our healthcare, so trained professionals practice medicine and not the infamous “Snake-Oil Salesman”. The only place where the policy of Caveat emptor “Buyer Beware” is still allowed in healthcare is in the insurance part of it.
The public option doesn’t make the Healthcare part of the Healthcare industry any more or less socialist than it was before, it just offers doctors an option on how they get paid. With government option doctors will be paid less, but they know they will be paid. With the insurance companies doctors cross their fingers when they submit a bill and hope an insurance company bureaucrat doesn’t deny most of the work they’ve done.
Most doctors now prefer to work with Medicaid patients because it is less stressful to get 90% of the “going rate” than roll the dice and see what the insurance company will pay.