Social Question

jazzjeppe's avatar

How much was the HC bill about capitalism vs socialism?

Asked by jazzjeppe (2598points) March 22nd, 2010

Since I haven’t read up on it or live in the US myself, I am not qualified to debate it, but I am still curious. How much of this health care bill thingy is really about capitalism vs socialism?( I have asked earlier about the “fear or socialism” in the US and where it comes from.)

So, is the debate about the hc bill also a debate about capitalism vs socialism?

From my perspective, living in socialist Sweden and voting for socialist party, i think the US should pat itself on the shoulder today. Hope you understand what I am asking, my English isn’t made for debating politics :)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

44 Answers

DrBill's avatar

Neither, it was about feeding Obama’s ego at the expense of taxpayers

bummer's avatar

$940 Billion Dollars Much…But that number was pulled out of the sky, the real much is unmeasurable.

janbb's avatar

Depends on whom you are asking. I’d say it was about fear and intimidation vs. common sense, but then I’m probably a socialist.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Well, it’s a capitalist democracy trying to run a social program. I’d be a lot happier about it if I actually thought we would do any better with it than we have with previous attempts (medicare, social security, for example).

How much of the debate was about that. At it’s core that’s what this is, a social program. But after the initial wave of fear and yammering about socialism in the end it seemed more about political bargaining than anything (including ensuring the best bill passed).

I don’t think the US as a whole is ready to have a socialism vs. capitalism issue put so directly in front of it, though it’s hard to deny that’s what this is.

dpworkin's avatar

It had nothing to do with socialism. This is a capitalist economy, and the Obama administration just spent a year doing its best to avoid nationalization of banks, automobile manufacturers and other entities caught up in the global depression.

FDR’s administration probably saved capitalism and deliberately so, and certainly Getihner, Bernanke and the others Obama recruited to intervene in the financial mess were overt capitalists

No one, excepting perhaps Bernie Sanders of Vermont who once called himself a socialist, had any reason to wish to socialize medicine.

All the screaming about socialism was a mere ploy by the monied interests and the cynical Republican leadership to frighten a portion of the population away from supporting something that was entirely in their own self-interest to support.

Lve's avatar

@DrBill Bitter, much?

I think the health care bill is about extending a basic human right to millions of Americans. Therefore, this bill doesn’t make America less capitalistic or more socialistic, just more civil.

jazzjeppe's avatar

So it’s a question about money? In my world, people must be allowed to cost money such as health care and education.

janbb's avatar

@jazzjeppe That last sentence was a little unclear; can you rephrase it?

jazzjeppe's avatar

I mean that in a healthy and working society, there are some things that I concider human rights. Such as a decent education and schooling and health care. Happy and healthy people makes an overall happy and healthy nation. Here in Sweden we are experiencing the opposite: politicians cut back on education and schools. Our children are going to schools without enough books and equipment etc. Education for our young ones must be a priority. As must health care.

Hope that’s a bit clearer :)

susanc's avatar

Health care isn’t a basic human right. It’s a decision a community makes to provide for itself.
Excellent health care is a huge luxury that, in this country, we’ve reserved for the rich.
Changing that goes against a lot of our perceived values. We’re having massive growing pains. Like any young creature.

janbb's avatar

@jazzjeppe Clearer and agreed.

DrBill's avatar


I watched this idiot destroy the economy of Illinois, now he is doing the same thing on a larger scale.

Why would anyone pass a law so many people were against? EGO.

jazzjeppe's avatar

@DrBill When you say “so many people were against”, are these people those with enough money to have a good health insurance? The people who can’t afford health insurance, are they also against the bill?

Response moderated
IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

It was never about capitalism and socialism. It was about right and wrong.

Response moderated
mattbrowne's avatar

@DrBill – Most educated people – unlike some tea baggers – know that politicians who are supporters of fiscal conservatism are actually part of the Senate and House of Representatives. They are a minority these days. The tea baggers haven’t understood democracy at all. They think that they are only represented if the President is a Republican who can rely on a Republican-dominated Senate and House of Representatives. And a few tea baggers probably can’t spell socialism, let alone explain its meaning. The issue is about right and wrong. It’s wrong to have more than 30 million uninsured people in the richest country in the world.

the100thmonkey's avatar

I’d go so far as to suggest that those who call the healthcare plan ‘socialist’ would actually prefer that as many as possible in the US electorate not understand what the term actually means.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

The people against the bill are the ones making it a socialist v. capitalist thing where the people in favor of the bill are making it a “millions of Americans have no health insurance and that’s bad” thing.

Snarp's avatar

It had nothing to do with capitalism versus socialism. Socialism was just a red herring used by fear mongers to attack the bill, it has nothing to do with the actual bill. Ask any socialist what socialized medicine looks like, I’m pretty sure it isn’t as good for capitalist health insurance companies as this bill.

Snarp's avatar

BTW, health stocks are on the rise this morning in the wake of the historic House vote. Capitalists seem happy with the bill.

Strauss's avatar

It seems to me that many who argue socialism vs capitalism refer to laissez-faire capitalism, or even anarcho-capitalism. I do not believe that regulated capitalism is anywhere near socialism.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@DrBill – You said, “I watched this idiot destroy the economy of Illinois, now he is doing the same thing on a larger scale. Why would anyone pass a law so many people were against? EGO.”

This idiot?

Do you mean like when the great poster child of all idiots, George W. Bush, shoved the Patriot Act down our throats?

I think that some people need to unclench their buttocks just a skoonch.

Zuma's avatar

@DrBill “Why would anyone pass a law so many people were against? EGO.”

At substantial fraction of the people who were “against” the bill didn’t think it went FAR ENOUGH! Many of the rest of the people “against” were LIED TO by the Republicans, who told them things like it was a “government takeover of health care,” that it was “socialism,” that it would run up the deficit, that it would contain death panels who would kill grandma, and that it would “just ruin everything.”

According to the Harvard Medical School, an estimated 45,000 people die each year due to lack health insurance. That’s the equivalent of more than one 9/11 attack per month, month in and month out! And you attribute Obama’s motives to EGO? TO EGO?!!!

Snarp's avatar

And the latest Gallup poll has 48 percent opposed, 45 percent in favor, which is within the poll’s margin of error. Which means that the poll can’t really say there’s any difference between those numbers and a fifty fifty split. So half the respondents are opposed to this particular bill, and at least some oppose it because it lacks a public option or isn’t single payer, and the rest have been listening to the constant harangue of lies from the right and discussion of tactics over substance. Obama was elected to pass this bill, so were many House and Senate members. Obama has far more of a mandate than Bush ever had, so I don’t think you can call it ego.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@Snarp , Gallup had Big O’s approval ratings up 3 percentage points this morning. 50 approve, 43 disapprove. No bloodbath for Dems in November.

Snarp's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex I think they’ll be a lot better off having passed it than they would be if they hadn’t. They could either be seen as the party who wanted health care but couldn’t get it done, or the party who passed health care. Success trumps failure every time. As I wrote to my representative thanking him for his vote, he can count on me for a donation and as much volunteer time as I can manage for the midterms.

Zuma's avatar

Many people, even now, don’t know what’s in the Bill.

For instance, the Bill does NOT create a new government-run health care PROGRAM. It is essentially, a regulatory reform bill which prohibits certain kinds of abusive practices in the insurance industry. A program has to do with creating systems that deliver health care services, while regulatory reform has to do with how that system is regulated and paid for.

The following benefits will be available in the first year after enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Access to Affordable Coverage for the Uninsured with Pre-existing Conditions—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will provide $5 billion in immediate federal support for a new program to provide affordable coverage to uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions. This provision is effective 90 days after enactment, and coverage under this program will continue until new Exchanges are operational in 2014.

Access to Quality Care for Vulnerable Populations—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act makes an immediate and substantial investment in Community Health Centers to provide the funding needed to expand access to health care in communities where it is needed most. This $10 billion investment begins in 2010 and extends for five years.

No Pre-existing Coverage Exclusions for Children—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act eliminates pre-existing condition exclusions for all Americans beginning in 2014, when the Exchanges are operational. Recognizing the special vulnerability of children, the Managers’ Amendment prohibits health insurers from excluding coverage of pre-existing conditions for children, effective six months after enactment and applying to all new plans.

Re-insurance for Retiree Health Benefit Plans—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will create immediate access to re-insurance for employer health plans providing coverage for early retirees, effective 90 days after enactment. This re-insurance will help protect coverage while reducing premiums for employers and retirees. Closing the Coverage Gap in the Medicare (Part D) Drug Benefit

* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will reduce the size of the “donut hole,” raising the ceiling on the initial coverage period by $500 in 2010.

* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will also guarantee 50 percent price discounts on brand-name drugs and biologics purchased by low and middle-income beneficiaries in the coverage gap, beginning July 1, 2010.

Small Business Tax Credits—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will offer tax credits to small businesses beginning in 2010 to make employee coverage more affordable.

* Tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums will be immediately available to firms that choose to offer coverage; later, when Exchanges are operational, tax credits will be up to 50 percent of premiums. The full credit will be available to firms with 10 or fewer employees with average annual wages of $25,000, while firms with up to 25 or fewer employees and average annual wages of up to $50,000 will also be eligible for the credit.

Ensuring Value for Premium Payments—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will establish standards for insurance overhead and require public disclosure to ensure that enrollees get value for their premium dollars. The Managers’ Amendment tightened these standards, requiring plans in the individual and small group market to spend 80 percent of premium dollars on clinical services and quality activities, and 85 percent for plans in the large group market. Health insurance plans that do not meet these thresholds will provide rebates to their policyholders. This provision takes effect in 2011 and applies to all plans, including grandfathered plans, with the exception of self-insured plans.

Patient Protections—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act protects patients’ choice of doctors by allowing plan members to pick any participating primary care provider, prohibiting insurers from requiring prior authorization before and woman sees an ob-gyn, and ensuring access to emergency care. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all new plans.

Extension of Dependent Coverage for Young Adults—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require insurers to permit children to stay on family policies until age 26. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all new plans.

Free Prevention Benefits—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require coverage of prevention and wellness benefits and exempt these benefits from deductibles and other cost-sharing requirements in public and private insurance coverage. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all new plans.

* Beginning on January 1, 2011, Medicare beneficiaries will receive a free, annual wellness visit and will have all cost-sharing waived for prevention services.

No Lifetime Limits on Coverage—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will prohibit insurers from imposing lifetime limits on benefits. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all new plans.

Restricted Annual Limits on Coverage—
*The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will tightly restrict insurance companies’ use of annual limits to ensure access to needed care, effective six months after enactment for all new health plans. These tight restrictions will be defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. When the Exchanges are operational, the use of annual limits will be banned.

Protection from Rescissions of Existing Coverage—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will stop insurers from rescinding insurance when claims are filed, except in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material fact. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to all new plans.

Prohibits Discrimination Based on Salary—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will prohibit group health plans from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that have the effect of discriminating in favor of higher wage employees. This provision takes effect six months after enactment and applies to group health plans.

Public Access to Comparable Information on Insurance Options—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will enable creation of a new website to provide information on and facilitate informed consumer choice of insurance options.

Health Insurance Consumer Information—
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will provide assistance to States in establishing offices of health insurance consumer assistance or health insurance ombudsman programs to assist individuals with the filing of complaints and appeals, enrollment in a health plan, and, eventually, to assist consumers with resolving problems with tax credit eligibility. This provision is effective beginning with fiscal year 2010.

Appeals Process—
* Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all new health plans will implement, within six months of enactment, an effective process for appeals of coverage determinations and claims. And, states will provide an external appeals process to ensure an independent review.

Notice that nothing is being “taken over” here. All of these reforms are simply tweaks to the existing for-profit system. The uninsured people who are being added to the system are NOT being added through a new program, but an expansion of Medicaid, an existing program (which still leaves 15 million people uninsured).

Strauss's avatar

@Zuma Thank you for that synopsis!

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@Snarp , I may be a little high on the W for the home team right now, but I think the Republicans just got bitch-slapped again, and it will end up hurting them in November, not helping them.

janbb's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex It was about fuckin’ time!

Snarp's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex I sincerely hope you are right. I’m confident that in four years as the impacts of his policies are felt, Obama will be reelected in a landslide, but I’m not as confident as you are about the midterms. Still a lot of angry tea baggers willing to work for their candidates. I think the question is really about whether we will work as hard in victory as we did as the underdogs. There’s also the possibility that the tea baggers will divide the conservative vote. But I think that success breeds success, and Americans as a whole are happier that something has been accomplished than upset about the particular bill. After all, we’ve lived through all the other bills we did or didn’t agree with.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Zuma – Great post! I wrote the following in my recent question related to frightening GOP behavior: I’m worried. Debate is good of course. Even heated debates are good. But there are limitations. Health insurance for everyone is going to cause Armageddon? Obama wants to pull the plug on grandma? Excuse me?

Of course laws and bills can never be perfect, but often they are good enough or better than inactivity. Humans are never perfect. This includes lawmakers. But should this lead to such blatant hostility and hatred? Has the GOP mutated into a party of anger? Are they still committed to upholding values such as honesty, trust, respect, integrity, love, kindness, temperance and fairness? I think there’s more at stake here than finding the best health care reform. See

the100thmonkey's avatar

The GOP is a slave of FOX News.

I actually saw what I thought were reasonable people, with whom I happened to have a difference of opinion, start talking about secession on a forum thread with one of those “Obama is a socialist-fascist and will put you in internment camps if you let him reform healthcare” youtube clips. It was terrifying.

mattbrowne's avatar

Comments like this are a terrible insult to all victims of Nazism. Well, you know, Obama, Hitler, ah, we can’t really tell the difference.

Shameful. To say the least.

Strauss's avatar

What exactly would a socialist-fascist look like?

janbb's avatar

@Yetanotheruser The answer to that is obvious – he would look like Barack Obama!

Strauss's avatar

There seems to be a mob mentality that is only fomented by some right wing conservative talking heads.

Zuma's avatar

I’ve hurt my arm again, so it’s very painful for me to write. I think the problem is that the right no longer has any moderates in it—by which I mean people who are interested in governing through the Democratic process.

For the past year or two the Right has not been involved in policy debates. Instead they have been involved in a scorched earth policy of sabotaging the the democratic process by telling barefaced lies that demonize “liberals,” “progressives” and Obama in an attempt to create their own paranoid narrative where these are being seen as the internal enemies. The growing violence of the rhetoric, the posters depicting guns, the spitting on black congressmen, Republican legislators egging their followers on, racial and homophobic epithets—now unbelievably vile death threats, a propane gas line being tampered with, a mysterious white powder turning up in Rep. Weiner’s mail, and the GOP leadership not speaking out about it forcefully—show an unmistakable pattern of escalation that’s exactly what you see in the early stages of fascism.

It really is honest to goodness fascism folks. The Tea Party Libertarians are just chumps along for the Fox News organized, corporate-funded ride. Palin is an airhead (all the better for the NeoCons to control, like Bush was).

David Frum, one of Dubya’s hired brains, got himself fired today from his right wing think tank sinecure for saying that the Republicans have been acting under the mistaken impression that Fox News worked for them, when in fact, the Republican Party works for Roger Ailes and Fox News. You can see for yourself how any Republican who runs afoul of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh has 24 hours to recant, or they get savaged by this incrasingly radicalized base.

As a consequence, the GOP has now given itself over to the Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes agenda on the Right. The GOP has painted itself into a corner, where it is no longer any room for with “Liberals,” or “Progressives” whom Fox has painted as “traitors,” “enemies,” pure evil. There is no room for compromise, governing, or government in this scheme of things; so they have no choice but to double down the paranoia, the “stabbed in the back” rhetoric, and the mean-spirited attack on empathy and compassion.

I don’t have the strength to type this all out, so I urge you to read the following:

mattbrowne's avatar

How many of the US military’s top 100 generals are sympathetic to demonizing the country’s leaders and the cause of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes and their agenda?

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@mattbrowne , the question sends a chill down my spine. I’d heard some rumors that Petraeus was unhappy with Obama and might consider a run for office. That doesn’t scare me. What scares me is the thought that the rightwingers could have enough support in the military to consider a military coup, especially if the Republicans don’t pick up enough seats in November to stop Obama’s agenda.

Snarp's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex, @mattbrowne I think American generals are quite solidly behind the rule of law. The upper echelons of the U.S. military have made it clear time and again that whatever their personal political proclivities they obey orders from the commander in chief. This clear obedience of the military to the President, no matter what his political flavor, is what makes democracy possible of course, and I’ve never seen a sign that it is wavering in any way. Correct me if I’m wrong and there are generals muttering otherwise.

Zuma's avatar

The Nazis were absolute sticklers for the rule of law, right up to the end. The problem is not rogue elements running amok outside the law, but the rogue group getting hold of the law-making, law-interpreting, and/or law-enforcing machinery of the society. A lot of the damage has been done under the pretext of the War on Drugs, which like the Nazi laws against Jews provided a legal pretext for creating what is essentially a politically defined class of “criminals” and turning them into second-class citizens.

There is a worrisome Dominionist infiltration of the military, particularly in the AirForce.

Naomi Wolf in the link I cited above describes “creating a gulg” and developing a thug caste to which I would also point out is going on in our policy of “mass incarceration.”

Again, please browse as much of this as you can stand since pain really prevents me from writing out the whole thing.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther