Now that the New York Times is no longer hiding content behind its wall of silence, it is possible to get the current liberal line on issues directly from one of the sources. In the case of health care, Philip M. Boffey is the go-to person on the editorial board. In today's Times he introduces what is surely going to be a major Democratic talking point for the upcoming election season, ie, the Democrats are not proposing to socialize health care. The Democrats will benefit enormously if they can couch the debate over health care as a debate over access and insurance, which is a bit of a smokescreen, and to that end, the arguments as laid out by Boffey have a superficial plausibility that lends itself well to the kind of sound-bite campaigning that our current system seems to reward:
The epithet of choice these days for Republicans who oppose any expansion of government’s role in health care programs is “socialized” medicine.
Rudy Giuliani has used the “s-word” to denounce legislation that would enlarge a children’s health insurance program and to besmirch Hillary Clinton’s health plan. Mitt Romney has added a xenophobic twist, calling the Clinton plan “European-style socialized medicine,” while ignoring its similarities to a much-touted health care reform he championed as governor of Massachusetts. Other conservative critics have wielded the “s-word” to deplore efforts to expand government health care programs or regulation over the private health care markets.
Our political discourse is so debased that the term is typically applied where it is least appropriate and never applied where it most fits the case.
The best part follows: