The primary complaint of those protesting President Obama's health reform program is that the system is "socialism."
Actually, our socialistic single-payer Medicare and VA health systems work well, with total overhead costs in the 3 percent to 4 percent range. Private insurance plans typically have overhead costs above 20 percent.
Most of the medical research in the United States is federally funded at universities and government laboratories.
Our socialistic Social Security system also works. It was originally opposed by nearly all Republican congressmen. But popular support caused most of them to vote with the administration when it was adopted in the 1930s. Today, senior conservatives and liberals alike go happily to the mailbox on the third day of each month for those checks.
Protesters want consumers to reject the federal government and shop for health-care services on their own. They believe that the individual patient has more bargaining power than Medicare or the VA, as he goes from insurance provider to doctor to clinic, hunting for the best deal, with fever rising or appendix dripping.
Every developed nation but the United States has a single-payer government run health system, and they have better health statistics and lower costs.
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