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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/6/09

Socialism as Real Insurance for Everyone

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Message Bia Winter
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What is this big bugaboo about "Socialism", anyway? The Rightwingers are now raising hue and cry about it as if it were the same as old world Communism, but the only analogy here is the same insideous use of Propaganda to herd the sheeple!
Socialism works great in countries where it is administered properly!
Germany, and France,and even our neighbor Canada, have excellent systems, where people really GET SOMETHING for their hard-earned tax dollars besides Endless WAR!  Where it has failed, like in Britain, it was because they couldn't stick to the program and mixed Capitalism in,,,like here, when they 'borrow" from Medicare and  Social Security to pay for other government programs. 
( Aren't we glad we didn't "privatize" Social Security back when Bush wanted to; That would have tanked with the stock market!)

When the first of my eastern German cousins came to visit after the Wall came down,  they loved it here, and would have liked to emigrate, but, they said they could never afford college for their son here, or our exorbitant health care costs. In Germany people have the RIGHT to health care, as well as to education, right through college or trade school for those that football needed! THEY do not have an upcoming shortage of qualified workers in any field!
When we hear the old refrain of "Tax and Spend", we should first ask, "Spend on What?"  Big difference, whether it's for tax cuts for the rich and a bloated defense budget (necessitating yet more wars) or spent on what will help working people and society in general. And foremost in our present financial instability right now is the skyrocketing costs of healthcare, and that odious middle-man, the insurance industry. Catastrophic illness or injury is still the single most frighteningly unpredictable insecurity in the working person's life: the one that could strip them of everything including their home and life's savings. THAT is what Socialized Medicine is for. We shouldn't have to pay into the Insurance bloodsuckers' scam instead, forced to pay good money betting against our own best interests! It is they and their lobbyists who are most ardently blocking the health reforms we need. Let them stick to Car and Home insurance...for those that still trust them after Katrina!
Just because Socialism, a form of real insurance for everyone, hasn't been done right yet here in the USA doesn't mean it can't be! Until the Republicans neglected it so badly, our Public Education system was one of the best in the world: a prime example of a successful socialist program. Why not right through college or trade school? (surely a much better investment for society than prisons...and cheaper!) 
And with the present financial meltdown, we see clearly now where run-amok Capitalism has gotten us (What's "trickling down" on YOU, these days?) Are we to believe we can "afford" 800 billion to bail out banks, trillions for wars of empire that just make us less safe,  but not a small fraction of that for Universal Healthcare? (where, again,  should that money come from?)

It seems to me there are some things that can be left to the "Free Market" (Again we must ask, "free" for whom?) if it is properly regulated (we see where DE-Regulation has gotten us!) and then there are some things, things properly considered a Human Right in more enlightened  societies, that should be socialized for the common good, like Healthcare, Education, and it seems, probably also Banking, since our bailout money would imply some kind of ownership!  Instead we have a "socialist" welfare system for the Banks and big Corporations, and taxation without representation for the rest of us!
This "Great Recession/Rip-off" is the legacy of the Neocons' failed policies, starting with Reagan and we hope, ending with Bush/Cheney, that Obama must change, and he is right to start early on Healthcare as the single biggest issue that will help working people and small businesses weather these hard times, and allow our economy to renew itself.

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Bia Winter is an Artist/Writer from Maine, and has been an activist and letter-writer since the 60's. In 2004 she received the Roger Baldwin Award from the Maine American Civil Liberties Union for furthering Democracy after she got a Resolution (more...)
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