Socialized Medicine

Cross-posted from The Progressive Pulse

If Paul Krugman is right and passing health care legislation should be the number one priority of Progressives, then this is welcome news. In a recent poll by the Harvard School of Public Health, a plurality of respondents (45% vs. 39%) said America would be better off with "socialized medicine." To be clear, neither Clinton nor Obama is advocating what legitimate health policy analysts would define as socialized medicine.* It cannot be said often enough…under the Clinton or Obama plan if you like your current health insurance coverage, then keep it.

Nonetheless, it is nice to know that this scare tactic is losing it's effectiveness. Voters are going to be hearing alot about health care policy this election cycle, so do yourself this favor. If a so-called analyst is overwrought about the dangers of electing Democrats because they want to "socialize medicine," know immediately that they are not honest brokers of information.

Our dark doppelganger, the John W. Pope Civitas Institute, is especially guilty of this type of red-baiting smear tactic. It is standard procedure at Civitas to invoke what they perceive to be the "fear" of socialized medicine. The Civitas' analysis apparently goes something like this: if a service is paid for with public funds, then it is "socialized." Note that this is a distinction that is unique to health care. You do not see Civitas daft over the threat of "socialized" national defense, "socialized" police and fire protection, or "socialized" public education.

A government guarantee of health insurance is hardly socialist, although it is progressive. We should not allow health care reform to be stymied by using nonsensical and irrelevant terms like "socialized medicine." Clinton and Obama have legitimate public/private health care proposals to cover 47 million uninsured Americans. John McCain…does not.

*Legitimate examples of socialized medicine would be our Veterans Administration or the UK's National Health Service. Note: Medicare, Medicaid, or S-CHIP funding are not considered part of this group.


impressive numbers for socialized medicine....

I was really surprised that the poll numbers suggest that much support. People are really starting to see through the smokescreen we have been fed over the years. Just looking at it in a common sense way, I don't see any civilized countries saying, "Why don't we change to the way the USA does it!" Mostly, the rest of the world just laughs at how we get led by big business.

Another scare tactic:

"Under a socialized health care program, doctors won't be able to earn as much as they can now, so many of the top-notch physicians will go elsewhere and many potential doctors will choose other careers."

Pardon my French, but so-fucking-what? If making scads of money is more important to you than preserving the health and well-being of your fellow man (and woman), then you aren't a "top-notch" physician or potential physician.

We have more than enough doctors out there billing the maximum while performing the minimum as it is, and if they want to take a walk I'll loan 'em my best pair of sneakers.

Where are they going to go?

Since the US is the only "westernized" country in the world without universal health care, where will those doctors go if all they care about is money???

You got that right.

My mom had a GP who, in addition to changing her prescription every six months (or so) to something new and expensive, also spent well over half of the ten minutes he spared her (every month) peddling dietary supplements that he sold on the side.

I accompanied her one day because she had been having trouble with one of her new meds, and this idiot actually went through his sales pitch with me in the room. Wrong.

He might get his license to practice back one of these days...

Sorry, but I'm going to have to (mostly) defend my colleagues...

I am a physician who has been in private practice primary care for more 20 years. Most physicians would endorse some form of universal health coverage. Single payer is a tougher sell, but primary care physicians are likely to be on board.

There is no doubt that there are perverse financial incentives in place in our for-profit health care system. The system rewards more care, not necessarily better care, and there is often no correlation between the two. Having said that, most physicians I know are conscientious, hard-working, and are focused on favorable health outcomes for their patients.

If you know of unethical behavior by a medical it. Immediately. Here's how you do it. File a complaint with the North Carolina Medical Board. Their website is here:

You can also e-mail complants to:

If I have any advice it would be to find a medical provider who practices evidence based medicine. You are likely to get excellent care, and cost-efficient, too! To learn more about EBM go here:

Contrary to the tone I set above,

most physicians I know are conscientious, hard-working, and are focused on favorable health outcomes for their patients.

I concur wholeheartedly with this. :)

Most of my (and my family's) experiences with physicians have been very positive. But then again, that's what we expected. It's those few bad experiences that stand out in your memory, because they make you feel like you really don't have a solid medical safety net.

what does single payer mean, what does universal health care mea

What does socialized medicine mean?

lots of good propaganda!

Health Care for All -North Carolina is a coalition of medical care providers and public health experts, legislators, and private citizens who are holding regional forums to explore what the alternatives, what the principles are that we all agree should be pivotal to reform efforts.

one important principle is that medical care providers and citizens should be the persons in charge of decisions about care. Using the Evidence based medical practices of course.

But there is no talk of making the govt the employer of all medical care givers.

I personally find the scattershot pattern of health care coverage so confusing, that I would like to see a single payer, with single rules....then if anyone wants to buy private insurance to go above the evidence based medical care...that would be available for cost.

There seems to be great over utilization due to a variety of factors. One of which is that we could do better in taking care of ourselves. or having healthier compared with other developed nations.

It is all so interesting.