From a real “Voice of the People” letter published in Tuesday’s Sioux Falls Argus Leader. I am leaving out the author’s name – s/he was arguing in favor of government health care reform, and making some decent points – but then wrote the following:
“Insurance companies follow the precept of ‘spread of risk.’ All insureds pay into the pot, and when financial disaster occurs such as a fire, the damaged party is rescued by having his or her loss paid from the pot. Sounds like socialism, doesn’t it? Or is it just socialism when the government is involved?”
My dear writer: YES, IT’S JUST SOCIALISM WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IS INVOLVED, BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT HAS THE COERCIVE POWER TO MAKE PEOPLE PAY INTO A SYSTEM WITHOUT CHOICE OR COMPETITION. IT CAN MAKE PEOPLE PAY INTO PROGRAMS THEY DO NOT WANT OR INTEND TO USE AND PUNISH THEM IF THEY DON’T.
Pant pant. Huff huff. OK, OK. I’m calmer now, dear writer. A privately chosen insurance plan that you can quit is not socialism. The worst it could be is a monopoly, if one company gets away with being the only one available, or a trust if there are several companies but they conspire to rig their rates. But we have laws against those anti-free market antics (laws which are a proper and useful function of government).
Are the American people as far gone as this example? Do we really believe that government – GOVERNMENT – is just a little mom & pop enterprise struggling to find its humble niche in the marketplace?
I really might need that Dr. Kevorkian visit if it’s covered… or maybe just a reread of the Bill of Rights is sufficient.