Attempting to answer whether or not “Barack Obama supports Socialized Medicine?” CATO’s Michael Cannon writes:
Socialized medicine exists to the extent that government controls medical resources and socializes the costs. … What matters—what determines real as opposed to nominal ownership—is who controls the resources. The particular decisions that government makes about those resources are likewise irrelevant. It matters not whether the government is stingy about medical spending (as in Canada’s Medicare system, the British National Health Service, or the U.S. Medicaid program) or obscenely lavish (as in the U.S. Medicare program).
What matters is who decides. By that definition, America’s health sector is already well more than half socialized. Government purchases 46 percent of all medical care. … others posit that government ultimately controls about 60 percent of U.S. health spending. … To paraphrase Keyser Soze, the greatest trick that supporters of socialized medicine ever played was to convince the American people we don’t already have it.
Turning to Obama’s plan, Cannon concludes:
Though no rigorous projections have been done on the Obama plan, the Lewin Group estimates that a similar plan would enroll 40 million people in a new government insurance program, which would be akin to doubling the Medicare rolls. The Lewin Group projects that plan would increase federal spending by more than $140 billion per year,30 which some observers consider a vast underestimate.
Further, Obama’s proposed National Health Insurance Exchange would let government dictate who must purchase coverage, how much coverage they must purchase, and the premiums for every insurance policy in the nation. Reasonable people can disagree over
whether Obama’s health plan would be good or bad. But to suggest that it is not a step toward socialized medicine is absurd.