Well La, Freaking Dah
By: Mark W Adams

I was informed yesterday that "A single payer national health care system is 'socialized medicine,'" in response to a post I made defending John Edwards from getting labeled some kind of commie.

Fine. Point well taken, Professor. It's nice to have some straight talking language for a change. It's so refreshing in an age of Orwellian Double-Speak.

However, I'm sure you are well aware that certain phrases elicit emotional reactions over time, code words for an entire point of view. The term you prefer has been vilified over the decades to the point where it is counterproductive to advance the policy under that framing of the issue since it favors the corporate/conservative resistance to providing universal health care.

We could call it, "free" health care, since there would be little or no out-of-pocket expenses involved. That of course misleads since tax dollars are indeed paying for this "free" service. But even so, when the fire department rescues you, that is essentially a "free" service to the beneficiary.

I could live with "Government Provided" and/or "State Assisted," both of which are even more accurate than "single payor" since in theory Bill Gates could decide to be that payer (for a month or two anyway).

But I absolutely refuse to accept the purposely inflammatory right-wing framing you prefer. Besides, I don't care what the Brits called it. They talk funny and are principly responsible for making English perhaps the most ambiguous language on the planet where over half the words are not spelled like they sound and nearly all have more than one meaning -- and for insisting that a perfectly good word like "principly" is rejected by my spell-checker -- although they do make good tea.

It should be pointed out to the good professor that Edwards' plan is NOT single-payer, but sets up a competing government sponsored plan, an optional plan for all of us since he "mandates" that everyone get some kind of medical insurance -- just like found in many States regarding their car insurance. Ideally it will lead to single payer. Ideally I will be put in charge of a modest cohort in our socialist dystopia as well -- and be granted unlimited powers to abolish the tenure of any and all professors who piss me off in the future.

(Professor John Lott, to whom this reply was directed, is the Author of Freedomnomics and can be found on various "Fair and Balanced" editorial pages like the Moonie Times, NRO, and our favorite source for Double-plus-good fabrications -- Faux Noise.)