The Socialism Boogeyman
Whenever I see or hear the word “socialism” thrown carelessly about by opponents of President Obama and his policies, I shake my head in amazement. Do these folks even know the meaning of the word?
We could look the word up in a dictionary, but a better way of understanding this term is to look at two different systems of health care delivery in the United States: Medicare and the VA.
In the August 22 issue of Carriage Towne News, a letter writer from Atkinson defined socialism as “a single payer system.” Well, no, it’s not. If that were true, then Medicare would be socialism. Yikes! All of us old folks are getting commie medical care! In reality, Medicare is a government-run insurance system that pays some of our medical bills. And, no, it’s not a freebie! You have been paying Medicare insurance premiums all of your working life.
But we do have socialized medicine in America. It is called the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The government owns hundreds of VA hospitals, clinics, and offices and employs over 280,000 people. The doctors and nurses in a VA hospital work for the government. Nothing in the ACA (Obamacare) comes anywhere close to this example of a functioning U.S. socialized health care system. How ironic that we provide our soldiers with real commie medical care!
What it comes down to is this. The term “socialism” is a scare word employed by right-wing propagandists to gin up outrage against any government program that might benefit ordinary Americans. They don’t want you to actually think about the word or its real meaning. If you stopped to think for a minute, the scary boogeyman would disappear in a wisp of smoke.