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Jill Quadagno responds to comments

I want to respond to Terry’s comments on my earlier post, “A critical national competitiveness
issue” (Click here to read full post and comments.)

You wrote:

“Which nation is more competitive [than] the US that has universal health care?
When has socialism been more efficient at providing a service people need?

Socialism? That’s the same tired claim that’s been made against every plan to guarantee
universal health insurance coverage for the past 100 years. When President Franklin Roosevelt
considered including national health insurance in the Social Security Act of 1935, his opponents
called it socialistic. President Harry Truman’s plan to make national health insurance a part of
his Fair Deal was decried as a socialist plot. Even President Dwight Eisenhower’s idea of
subsidizing the private health insurance industry by having the government pay “catastrophic”
health care costs was condemned as socialist.

Medicare was also labeled socialist when it was enacted in 1965. It’s true that Medicare
is a government program, but it’s hardly socialistic. It’s administered by private insurance
companies on behalf of private hospitals and private physicians.

There are numerous ways to ensure that every citizen has health insurance. Canada’s single payer system might not be the best choice for the United
States, because of the extensive private
health insurance system that already exists. But that’s not the only option. Germany has an employment-based
system that is similar to the United States in many respects. The difference is that Germans have
a constitutional guarantee of health care.

Isn’t it time to bury that old chestnut, socialized medicine, and have a serious
conversation about why 45 million Americans have no health insurance?

– Jill Quadagno, author of One Nation, Uninsured.

Recent Comments

  1. Terry

    You didn’t answer the first question.

  2. Gordon Brown

    Just saw you on FSTV. #1…..the USA is not a democracy. It is a representative republic.
    Second if you really did your research over half of the acclaimed 40,000,000 uninsured are that way by choice. Financial choice that is. The same people that say they can’t afford health insurance because of family rates between $300 and $700/mo per family….have between over $1000/mo in auto expenses, the highest cable/satelite TV package, thier teens and the parents have cell phones. It is a matter of budget. I have been in the individual health insurance sales industry for almost a decade. I have been amazed at the decisions some people make. People like you site rare cases so I will to.

    A 38female married to a 59 male. Four kids three of which have serious health problems. Unable to keep up with thier small group health rates, they go un-insured. So these peoples making over well over $150K/year are in the poor, unfortunate 40mil that are uninsured. They decided to drop the premiums at $2000/mo. They still have options. She has two degrees……..law and psychology. He is a very popular and successful web designer, computer consultant. The option is that one of them could go to work for another company with group benefits and have insurance at an offordable rate.

  3. Gordon Brown

    Medicare was also labeled socialist when it was enacted in 1965. It’s true that Medicare is a government program, but it’s hardly socialistic. It’s administered by private insurance companies on behalf of private hospitals and private physicians

    The above is taken out of your comments. Again your information is incorrect. Medicare is not administerd by private insurance companies. Your medicare A and B are paid direct from medicare. If you as a senior join an HMO or what we call an advantage plan……then all of your care is administered by an insurance carrier which may or may not be private. It may be mutual or stock owned. If you do not join an HMO and only have A and B with a medicare supplement standardized plan A thru J then you have an insurance carrier that will pick up what medicare does not pay.

  4. Matthew S.

    Actually, Mr. Brown, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency responsible for both programs within the Social Security Administration, does contract insurance companies to administer Medicare. This is from the CMS website:

    “Since its inception, Medicare has contracted with insurance companies to administer the program.”

    – “The Editor”

  5. Gordon Brown

    In the original text you made it sound like medicare and it’s expenditures are the choice of the big bad private insurance carriers. It is still under the guidlines, budget, and legal limits of the federal government. It would be more correct to say the feds use insurance carriers under contract as a TPA or third party administrator.

    I did notice that like most liberals wanting bigger government and thinks the state and federal gov’s are responsible for every thing from my health care to lawn care. You failed to mention any comment on the “uninsured by choice”. We don’t want socialized medicine. We will all pay for the lack of financial choice and responsibility. You think taxes are high now…….add 20% min if we had universal healthcare. Should there be some safety net in place for the poor or disabled……sure. And for the most part there is in SSI and Medicare.

    I hear argument about other poorer countries that have social medicine programs. Most of the countries mentioned are not the financial super power the US are. These folks are not exsposed to the mass amount of financial choice and opportunity here in the great USofA.

    This is how the liberal media handles this topic: Last year while living in Little Rock a lady called in to a morning TV show complaining about the lack of health insurance for her and her family of five. She went on to mention that her husband and her only make about 35,000 per year each and with ball games, dance lessons, etc something had to give when her insurance rates went up to $400 per month. They quickly cut her off with a “that’s terrible” and went on with some more missleading stats. Again the 40mil you folks keep quoting are about half by choice. As long as people like that don’t think spending $4800 per year for $5,000,000 ($1,000,000 lifetime max per person is the usual coverage available multiplied by 5 family members )worth of medical protection then I don’t see why more of my hard earned tax dollars should be required of me to cover them.

    I have been paying over $100 per month for my own health insurance and also pay $314 per month for my wife. I have a 1500 ded HSA and she is on the Missouri health insurance pool for people with health conditions that make her uninsuranble and has a $5000 ded. It is worth the cost to protect my assets, credit rating, and provide access to healthcare of my choice.

    Freedom of choice….isn’t that what we want? Or just not here.

  6. Blue Cross of California

    Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system. Health insurance is a major aspect to many.

  7. Dan

    The problem with free medical care is it’s quality (e.g. attitude, equipment, places in hospital, food and so on). The problem with paid medical care is its overwhelming hunger for money that results in a huge number of procedures and analyses and operations that they tell you to do. What is better I do not know.

  8. Bill


  9. Bill

    This is very interesting site….

  10. Bill


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