Over seventy years ago, the plan for opponents of health care reform, orchestrated by a campaign consultant hired by the American Medical Association (via The New Yorker, “The Lie Factory”):
….1. The immediate objective is the defeat of the compulsory health insurance program pending in Congress. 2. The long-term objective is to put a permanent stop to the agitation for socialized medicine in this country by (a) awakening the people to the danger of a politically-controlled, government-regulated health system; (b) convincing the people, through a Nation wide campaign of education, of the superior advantages of private medicine, as practiced in America, over the State-dominated medical systems of other countries; (c) stimulating the growth of voluntary health insurance systems to take the economic shock out of illness and increase the availability of medical care to the American people….
[emphasis in original]
Okay, the ending of the tune is different today. It’s much darker. Now, if you don’t have any insurance and you have a heart attack, just go to the emergency room:
….Scott Pelley: Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don’t have it today?
Mitt Romney: Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people– we– if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.
Scott Pelley: That’s the most expensive way to do it.
Mitt Romney: Well the–
Scott Pelley: In an emergency room…
And still, that small matter of chronic health conditions remains.
“….stimulating the growth of voluntary health insurance systems to take the economic shock out of illness and increase the availability of medical care to the American people….”