WATCH: Conservative Media Paranoia Over Health Care ReformJune 17, 2009 10:39 AM EDT ››› BRIAN FREDERICK & KARL FRISCH
A while back I wrote about healthcare reform noting:
No issue incurs the wrath of these modern-day Red hunters more than health-care reform. For more than 75 years, conservatives have smeared progressive attempts to reform our faltering health-care system as "socialized medicine."
Since the 1930s, conservatives have assailed at least 16 different progressive health-care reform initiatives as "socialized medicine" or as a step that would inevitably lead in that direction.
What exactly has constituted "socialized medicine" to conservatives over the past seven-plus decades?
How about Franklin Roosevelt's consideration of government health insurance when crafting the 1935 bill that created Social Security, or Lyndon Johnson's 1965 amendment to the Social Security Act establishing Medicare? Both raised the ire of conservatives, who were quick to run with the "socialized medicine" smear.
In fact, back in 1964, Ronald Reagan, then stumping for GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, said of Medicare, "Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients."
Like Roosevelt and Johnson decades before him, Bill Clinton's health-care initiative in 1993 and 1994 and his work to create the State Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997 were attacked time and again as "socialized medicine."
Pick a progressive president. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton, and now Obama -- they've all faced the stale "socialized medicine" routine from the right.
So, what's the climate been like for President Obama?