Well first things first, ALL health insurance is essentially socialist whether or not there’s a profit margin attached. Socialism doesn’t mean “communism” as some people seem to think, all socialism means is paying for something which is too expensive or unmanageable to pay for individually, by chipping into a big fund to pay for it for a large group of people, who then each only have to pay a relatively lower fee per person, which is exactly what private health insurance companies are doing.
Whether this is done through taxes or through insurance premiums the major difference is whether there is a profit margin, which not only means a big chunk of what you pay isn’t going to actually benefit you or anyone else, but it also creates a cash (and in the case of corporations who are legally obligated to make money for their shareholders also a legal) incentive for withholding as much money and denying as many procedures and medications as possible. With the way we currently pay for healthcare we spend almost twice as much as other countries that publicly (meaning with public money, tax dollars) insure everyone and every procedure, and we have millions of uninsured, thousands of people dying every year preventably because they either don’t have insurance or their insurance company won’t pay out for the procedure they need, and fixable problems like obesity and diabetes are reaching epidemic proportions because health insurance won’t cover pre-existing conditions and preventative medicine, not to mention things like clinical depression and exhaustion which often get overlooked even though they are some of the most common complaints doctors hear.
So what is being proposed here? NOT the total takeover of health insurance by the government. NOT government run hospitals like the VA. Simply a public health insurance option that people can pay into like regular insurance, but that you actually get out of it what you put into it. Which means it must pay for pre-existing conditions and offer preventative medicine, cannot refuse payment, has no profit margin and therefore will force the private insurance companies to act competetively and stop price-gouging their insurees.
But it’s socialism, it has to be bad right?
Socialism is actually good a lot of the time. Some examples of socialism are the fire department, the roads you drive on, the military that protects you, the police, the FBI, etc. Anything paid for with public money is an example of socialism. Surely not all of these things are bad.
But the government is taking MY money and spending it without MY permission to help other people!
Yes, just like when your tax dollars go to build roads you don’t drive on and put out fires in other peoples’ houses and investigate, prosecute and incarcerate criminals for crimes committed by people you’ve never met against people you’ll never meet.
How is it when “MY” money is used to help those people it’s seen as a moral obligation and an essential service, but when my tax dollars go to some sick kid with cancer who can’t afford a procedure or a medication, it’s spun as the government stealing your money and giving it to a bunch of no-account layabouts?
The reason is that the police and FBI are not for-profit agencies, there is no industry that stands to lose money by investigating crime. There are however billions of dollars in profits to be lost in giving people a better quality of healthcare for a lower price.