Lion, tigers, and socialized medicine, Oh My!

Hillary Clinton released her health care plan today and by all accounts of those who understand the need for universal health care, the plan make sense both policy-wise and politically.  What really amused me was seeing Mitt Romney's response on the news tonight.  As governor of Massachusetts, Romney actually enacted a universal plan for his state not all that dissimilar from Clinton's plan.  Of course, as Romney saw it, there was nothing in common, and “Hillarycare” represented “socialized medicine.”  For years now, Republicans have been throwing around this “socialized medicine” trope every time Democrats bring up the fact that universal coverage is actually much more sensible and efficient policy.  I am really curious as to just how effective this attack is.  That is, of course, an empirical question to which I don't know the answer, but I just might do a database search and see if anybody's addressed it.  I am truly curious as to all the people who run screaming from “socialized medicine.”  Are they hard core conservatives who would never vote Democratic anyone, or is this an effective appeal for Independents and weak Democrats?  Of course, I would remiss if I failed to mention that none of the Democrats' plans are socialized medicine.  That is where the government actually owns and operates the health care industry– e.g., Great Britain where doctors are employees of the state.  No one here is proposing anything remotely similar to that.  But hey, if it scares voters, why not confuse the issue.  

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