Chapter 1. Socialized Medicine (graphics & captions omitted)
I repeat — what I am recommending is not socialized medicine.— Pres. Harry Truman, message to Congress (11-19-45)
Like it or not … socialized medicine may well be on its way to America. — Wall Street Journal (11-25-2008)
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The Partisan “Debate”
“More than four decades ago, this nation stood up for the principle that after a lifetime of hard work, our seniors should not be left to struggle with a pile of medical bills in their later years. And that’s how Medicare was born. And it remains a sacred trust that must be passed down from one generation to the next.” [Emphasis added.] — President Obama’s address to Congress (9-9-09)
“[M]y plan [The Patients’ Choice Act] unapologetically seeks to apply our nation’s timeless principles — our Founders’ commitment to individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise — to today’s challenges. It does so in a way that honors our historic commitment to strengthening the social safety net for those who need it most…. It fixes what is broken in our health-care system without breaking what is working.” [Emphasis added.] — Congressman Paul Ryan, Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders, 2010 1
Here’s What’s Missing
The omissions in the so-called health care debate are crucial to any real understanding of what needs to be done.
First, almost no one dares mention that the Constitution does not permit any federal involvement in health care (other than to provide for the military and its own employees). Republicans and Democrats alike have long ignored the once prominent constitutional objections to this usurpation of authority. In a February 27, 2001 address to Congress, a newly elected President George W. Bush boasted:
To meet the health care needs of all America’s seniors, we double the Medicare budget over the next 10 years. My budget dedicates $238 billion to Medicare next year alone, enough to fund all current programs and to begin a new prescription drug benefit for low-income seniors….
Many working Americans do not have health care coverage, so we will help them buy their own insurance with refundable tax credits. And to provide quality care in low-income neighbor-hoods, over the next five years we will double the number of people served at community health care centers.
Next, federal involvement locks in the third-party payer system (where someone other than the patient pays for even routine costs). The third-party payer system bears a good share of the responsibility for ballooning costs. Another primary source of rising costs is the immense federal bureaucracy created to manage the system.
Health Care Rationing
The immense cost of a federally run universal health care system must inevitably lead to the rationing of services — not everyone will be allowed access to what modern medicine could offer. Government bureaucrats will decide whose life merits what social investment.
In the early 1990s, the New York Times even warned its readers that “rationing is coming” and introduced the QUALY “quality adjusted life years” rationing formula: “[E]conomists and ethicists say it, or something very much like it, will almost certainly be used soon to rank treatments in the United States.” (See “Ethicists Struggle to Judge the ‘Value’ of Life,” 11-24-92.)
During the Bill Clinton administration, the Hillary Clinton health care task force commissioned an “ethics panel” to “lay out a values framework to guide health care reform and hold it accountable.” Without much fanfare, federal guidelines have already pushed U.S. hospital administrators into restricting hospital stays for the seriously ill, often contrary to the attending physician’s wishes and regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.
A federally administered health care system inevitably leads to a decrease in quality, patient-centered health care, as doctors become accustomed to receiving instruction from their paymasters in Washington as to what treatments for whom are permissible.
Revolutionary Organization Ignored
By far the most serious omission in the health care “debate,” however, is its failure to address the revolutionary organization, the deceptions, and the ulterior motive driving the steady expansion of federal authority. The “debate” even “forgets” the history of just a few decades ago, or some of these “uncomfortable” facts would emerge.
The revolutionary socialist network extends back more than a century. The goal of this network is central control of virtually every human activity (socialism) and world government. As early as 1911, the British Fabians called for a universal health care system.
A major workhorse within the revolutionary network is the little known Fabian Society.
The Fabians have supplied many of the cadres and much of the strategy and supporting ideology for the revolutionary network in the United States.
The Fabian Society was founded in 1884 in London by a group of radical intellectuals eager to impose socialism on the British people and then the world. From the earliest beginnings of the Fabian movement, the American Establishment has provided close cooperation and support.
By the middle of the last century, Fabian socialist “successes” would affect daily life in England. At one time, with a Labour government in power, the Fabian Society could count among its membership “10 Cabinet Ministers, including the Prime Minister, 35 Under Secretaries and other officers of State, and 229 of 394 Labour Party Members of Parliament.” 2
A favored component of Fabian strategy involves “penetration” and “permeation” of political parties, academe, the press, government, and social institutions (including the churches). Since its formation, the Fabian Society has advocated and pursued a strategy for achieving socialism through deception and patient gradualism. Appropriately, the Fabian Society adopted the wolf in sheep’s clothing and the tortoise as its symbols.
While keeping a low profile, the Fabian Society has exported its revolution throughout the free world.
In the United States, Fabian-inspired organizations have operated under different names. The first organizational roots were planted in 1905 with the founding of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society (ISS).
Real progress in the drive for socialized medicine naturally required mainstream acceptance. Socialized medicine had to escape the socialist stigma entrenched in American minds. And this required deception.
In 1947, leaders from the American Fabian Socialist movement helped found a political action arm known as the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA). Although the ADA has “usually chosen to deny its lineage and to disclaim its Socialist purpose,” the connections have been obvious. 3 ADA members generally preferred to call themselves liberals rather than socialists.
In the presidential election of 1948, most experts had written off Harry Truman. But the Americans for Democratic Action coordinated the efforts of local AFL and CIO unions on Truman’s behalf, organized college campuses through Students for Democratic Action, and ADA volunteers worked the precincts.
Not only was Truman victorious, but that same year 79 representatives endorsed by the ADA were elected to the U.S. Congress “and nine new House members were actually ADA members…. The big prize for the ADA was the election of Hubert Humphrey to the U.S. Senate.” 4
President Truman was beholden to the ADA. According to Edward R. Annis, M.D., a past president of the American Medical Association:
“Surely it was no coincidence that Truman would address Congress with an eleven-item wish list, and that eight of those items would appear on the platform adopted at the ADA annual convention. And surely it was no coincidence that the most sweeping proposal on that wish list and on the ADA platform was a renewed call for socialized medicine through national health insurance, and that the same proposal had first appeared two decades before on the platform of the Socialist party of America.” 5
Although the American people were not yet ready to accept such unconstitutional federal usurpation of power, the Fabian Socialist turtle kept crawling forward.
King Anderson and Medicare
The next major effort toward socialized medicine came with the election of President Kennedy in 1960. At least 36 high officials of the Kennedy administration were past or present members of the Americans for Democratic Action.
These ADA members could count on a substantial number of allies in Congress and the organizing efforts of Walter Reuther. In his painstakingly compiled Biographical Dictionary of the Left, Francis X. Gannon profiled Reuther as follows:
“[Reuther] is today  the virtual boss of the Democratic Party on federal and state levels. He has spent millions of dollars of union funds either to elect or defeat candidates for governorships, mayoralties, state legislatures, the Congress of the United States, and the Presidency. In blunt terms, Walter Reuther has the Democrats in his back pocket along with the leftwing of the Republican party.” 6
In 1962, Reuther applied his tremendous influence and organizational talent on behalf of socialized medicine. Union organizers planned five thousand speeches nationwide to create an atmosphere of crisis, leading up to a nationally televised speech by President John F. Kennedy on May 20 from Madison Square Garden. 7
A turning point in the socialist drive came when Dr. Annis delivered the physician’s rebuttal in a televised talk, also from Madison Square Garden, to an audience estimated at 30 million Americans. The public responded with some 42,000 letters to Congress and King-Anderson (Medicare) was dead — for the moment. 8
However, in the wake of the Kennedy assassination, President Johnson and the bill’s socialist proponents seized upon the natural sympathy for the slain president to identify Medicare as Kennedy’s wish and push it into law. Dr. Annis, later concluded:
“The Socialist party of America, where the plan for national health insurance was hatched, never garnered more than 6 percent of the popular vote for its specious programs. But through the cunning of the Americans for Democratic Action, aided by an assassin’s bullet, King-Anderson became the law of the land known as Medicare.” 9
Had our media and politicians not sidelined this history, President Obama would never have dared lie to the nation about how “Medicare was born.”
But Medicare was only the foot in the door for the socialists.
Pointing Fingers Elsewhere
In 1970, the Left mounted a drive to extend Medicare to all Americans (and expand federal control of medicine). The Establishment media played its part in that drive by arguing that the medical profession needed federal supervision. For example, CBS, in a two-part “documentary” aired on April 20 and 21, 1970, suggested: “It may be, as some have said, that the organization of medicine is too important to leave to doctors.”
Almost three decades later, President Obama delivered his 2009 televised plea for Congress to enact major new healthcare “reform” legislation. Surprisingly, he identified the cost of federal programs as a major concern:
“If we do nothing to slow these skyrocketing costs, we will be spending more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other program combined. Put simply, our health care problem is our deficit problem, nothing else comes close.”
Nevertheless, the President insisted that Medicare and Medicaid were great social accomplishments. In order to solve the cost problem, he employed typical socialist rhetoric about how more regulation can curtail obscene private-sector profits (while forcing companies to do what is unprofitable). At the University of Maryland a week later, the president told his audience:
“We’re going to eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars of waste and fraud and subsidies to insurance companies that pad their profits but don’t do anything to make seniors healthier.”
A month prior to the President’s speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pointed the same finger: “The glory days are coming to an end for the health insurance industry.” (Salt Lake Tribune, August 2, 2009)
In his very enlightening 1993 exposé, Code Blue: Health Care in Crisis, Dr. Annis tells a much different story:
“All of the current problems in the medical marketplace — hyperinflation, millions of uninsured Americans, excessive administrative costs — carry a “MADE IN WASHINGTON” label. Yet the truth remains hidden to most Americans.” 10
Our health care system does need reform — the reform of getting the federal government out.
The Real Objective
Although some socialist idealists undoubtedly believe their own humanitarian propaganda, the idealists are not the real drivers behind these movements. The great 20th Century historian Oswald Spengler had it figured out when he wrote in his classic Decline of the West:
“There is no proletarian, not even a Communist, movement, that has not operated in the interest of money, in the directions indicated by money, and for the time permitted by money — and that, without the idealist amongst its leaders having the slightest suspicion of the fact.” 11
Very wealthy men seeking power more than wealth have financed these socialist movements, because they understand that socialism provides a road to power. The socialists argue that they want to redistribute the wealth. But to do that, government must first be allowed to control the wealth — the real objective.
Why It Matters
It should be clear from the above that America will never free medicine from government control unless the driving agenda becomes understood, raises sufficient concern, and is attacked head on. Tame partisan opposition that accepts prior socialist inroads as the will of the people — part of “America’s safety net” —will not get the job done.
But informing public opinion is no easy task. So why not just accept the status quo, oppose any further inroads, and go about our business? Napoleon Bonaparte answered that question: “The purely defensive is doomed to defeat.” The Fabian turtle may pause along the way, but it moves inexorably forward.
And that points to one of the most effective ways for revolutionaries to overcome resistance to a loss of liberty — gradualism — proceed in stages so that the end result is not universally obvious.
Chapter 1: Socialized Medicine
- Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders (New York: Simon & Shuster, 2010), p. 105.
- Rose L. Martin, Fabian Freeway: High Road to Socialism in the U.S.A. 1884–1966 (Boston: Western Islands, 1966), p. 3 and The General Election and After, Fabian Research Series, No. 102 (London, The Fabian Society, 1946).
- Martin, p. 343.
- Edward R. Annis, M.D. (Past President, A.M.A.), Code Blue: Health Care in Crisis (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway, 1993), pp. 32, 33.
- Ibid., pp. 31, 32. See also: Milton and Rose Friedman, Free to Choose, Appendix A. “Socialist Platform of 1928” (New York: Avon Books, 1979), p. 229.
- Francis X. Gannon, Biographical Dictionary of the Left, Vol. I. (Boston: Western Islands Publishers, 1969), p. 495.
- Annis, p. 64.
- Ibid., p. 69.
- Ibid., p. 75.
- Ibid., p. 6.
- Oswald Spengler, Decline of the West, Vol. II: Perspectives of World-History (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 402.