Robert R. DiMarco’s March 19 letter, “Wakeup call of socialized medicine,” brings back the 1950s-60s deja vu “Medicare-is-a-communist plot” scare (along with fluoridated water).
First, Mr. DiMarco’s scare tactics invoke the horrors of current badly run federal programs, which Bush administration and past Republican Congressional tax-cuts-for-the-rich proponents have subverted by starving those programs to death so taxpayers will revolt against every government program (except, of course, the organized murder called “war”). This Republican plot intentionally makes Americans hate federal programs so they will vote for tax cuts for the rich to undermine those programs. Programs that are well funded and supported by an administration and Congress function well – e.g., President Clinton’s FEMA.
Secondly, Mr. DiMarco invokes this scare tactic: The Canadian “beast” awaiting us. I travel to Canada frequently. The most feared healthcare “beast” in Canada is the “creeping American-style privatization” of their healthcare system, with millions having NO coverage. That’s what Canadians fear most, not their own system. Canadians are improving efficiency and the long waits Mr. DiMarco decries–but at least they don’t have nearly 50 million people with no access to healthcare, which Mr. DiMarco’s letter conveniently ignores. A child died a couple of weeks ago when an untreated dental infection traveled to his brain. The reason for this tragedy? No access to the American private healthcare non-system.
A hypothetical Canadian coming to the U.S. to work can be happy with private employer-provided healthcare benefits and criticize the Canadian system until he/she loses the job and benefits and is thrust into the horrors of the uninsured. Guess where that Canadian goes? North, of course! Back to a saner land with healthcare guaranteed for everyone.
Readers should ignore the full-throttle scare campaign that conservatives and the Republican party are waging on the air waves and in our news media generally. That is SO 1950s/pre-Medicare!!! Let’s admit it: This is 2007.
Karen Porter, Director
The Chester County Peace Movement
(healthcare IS a peace & justice issue!)