“No One in America Should Go Broke Because They Got Sick”

The White House speechwriting team delivers in the latest radio address with a helpful brief phrase that sums up the goals of health insurance reform: “No one in America should go broke because they got sick.”

It also offers this nice ditty on the right-wings decades-long record of fearmongering on social insurance:

We’ve seen it before. When President Roosevelt was working to create Social Security, opponents warned it would open the door to ‘federal snooping’ and force Americans to wear dog tags. When President Kennedy and President Johnson were working to create Medicare, opponents warned of ‘socialized medicine.’ Sound familiar? Not only were those fears never realized, but more importantly, those programs have saved the lives of tens of millions of seniors, the disabled, and the disadvantaged.

Well said. Of course today a large and powerful minority of people continue to believe that Social Security and Medicare should be dismantled. And those people provide the intellectual and financial pillars of the movement currently opposing the creation of a national health care system. But rather than admit that their opposition to reform is of a piece with their opposition to Social Security and Medicare, they’re trying to convince seniors and others that they’re the defenders of the high-quality publicly-provided health insurance that they already enjoy.