Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Creeping Socialism

Over a dozen state attorneys general have joined Idaho's and filed suit against the US federal government over health care reform. Texas governor Rick Perry said, "Unfortunately, the health care vote had more to do with expanding socialism on American soil than it does fixing our health care finance and delivery systems."

We have jumped back nearly 50 years to the debate over Medicare. In 1961, Ronald Reagan spoke out against the creeping Socialism in the United States and the imminent loss of "our traditional free enterprise system." He calculated that the federal government already controlled "one fifth of the total industrial capacity of the US" and predicted health care rationing for senior citizens if Medicare passed.

In a recording distributed by the American Medical Association, Reagan urged Americans to write their Congressmen [sic] and urge them to defeat the bill that became Medicare, warning that:

"If you don't, this program, I promise you, will pass, just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow. And behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country, until, one day...we will awake to find that we have Socialism. And if you don't do this and I don't do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children's children, what it once was like in American when men were free."

This was forgotten during the past year's health care debate, when the Republican Party cast themselves as the protectors of the same program they had opposed earlier. Ruling out the predicted Armageddon, my money is on the Republicans to jump on board when they realize how well health care reform works. In another 50 years I predict they will be protecting the recent changes from creeping Socialism.

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