"SACRAMENTO - The prognosis for universal health care in California is grim this year, and experts say a failure could set back similar efforts nationwide for years to come."
"But support for his ideas has slipped as the debate has bogged down. In December, the nonpartisan Field Poll found it was favored by 52 percent of voters. By August, that had fallen to 33 percent; that is about equal to the number who said they supported a single-payer system run by the government."
A glimmer of hope for freedom-lovers on the health care front? Yes and no.
Note that the opposition, as least according to this article from the Associated Press, is focused on specific concretes of Liberal Democratic (excuse me, Republican) governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's scheme to impose socialized medicine on California. The doctors and unions say it would cost too much for the "working poor"; the Republicans say it would be too expensive; and the Democrats say it is not expensive enough.
What's missing in this debate is any mention of individual rights, the proper role of government, or any serious proposal to role back the tax and regulatory policies that are strangling our health care industry. There don't seem to be any actual opponents to the Governor's plan, just some quibbling over the sundry details, as if the debate over socialized medicine is over, and freedom has lost. But despite the seeming (again, according to the AP) lack of any coherent opposition, public support for Schwarzenegger's plan has plummeted.
And therein may lie some reason for optimism. When confronted explicitly with a chance at the ballot box to implement socialized medicine, Americans have always rejected it overwhelmingly, as in Maine and Oregon early in this decade. Hillary Clinton's attempted government takeover of medicine in 1993 not only failed, but led to the Republicans' landslide takeover of congress a year later. Only in Massachusetts did it "succeed", where another Liberal Democratic (excuse me, Republican) governor, Mitt Romney, snuck his plan through under the guise of "free market choice".
What California, and America, are ripe for (and deserve) is a principled and moral campaign against socialized medicine coupled with a comprehensive plan of action to restore a free market in health care; i.e., one in which every individual is free to make his own decisions on health care, with his own money, free from state
interference. Any politician willing to mount such a campaign will, I believe, find wide support as he will be stepping into an intellectual vacuum (in the political realm).
This may be the true lesson behind the poll results reported in this article.