Monday, March 03, 2008

Socialized, schmocialized

…In the 1960s, HA’s father, who was a physician, journeyed to London for a few months to study “socialized” medicine.

…He was horrified to see the government paying doctors. He never really lived to see the insurance companies take over his business. Because it did get taken over, anyway--and he would have loathed every minute.

…Socialized medicine remained a big boogeyman at HA’s house and in many medical homes.

…Writing in the LA Times (Feb 25, 2008), Susan Brink says a Harvard poll shows the word “socialized” is losing its scare power.

…The researcher wondered if people even knew what this 1940’s term meant anymore.

…Pollsters at Harris Interactive asked more than 2,000 people in two surveys.

…67% said they knew what it meant—and almost 80% said it meant that the government makes sure everyone has health insurance. Only 32% said it meant the government controls doctors.

…Of those who said they understood the word, 45% said with socialized medicine, health care would be better. 39% said worse.

…Among Republicans 70% said worse. Among Democrats, 70% said better.

…Independents were 45% for better, 38% worse than now.

…Republicans get mad when they hear the word, according to pollsters.

…Every so often, the word gets thrown around to scare people.

…HA does not intend to get into politics here, but she thinks it means something that is managed centrally for the good of a given society or subset of society.

…You know, like police, fire, Medicare--for and by society, socialized.

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