Opinion: Stop calling universal healthcare ‘socialized medicine’

The Covered California exchange at a storefront in Huntington Beach on Nov. 1.
(Nick Agro / Associated Press)

To the editor: George Skelton writes, “But for generations, it has been the dream of many — mostly Democrats — to enact whatever you want to call it: ‘single-payer,’ ‘Medicare-for-all’ or ‘socialized medicine.’” (“A state single-payer healthcare system? Nice idea, but it’s just California dreaming,” March 9)

Medicare for all and single payer are not “socialized medicine.” Skelton tries to use “evil” words like “socialism” to scare misinformed conservatives about what’s best for them. Words matter.

An example of socialized medicine is the care delivered through the Department of Veterans Affairs, where medical professionals are government employees and the facilities are paid for by we the people. In contrast, single payer and Medicare for all are are universal health insurance, not socialism.


Nobody is talking about government taking control of doctors and hospitals and nurses and everyone else. It’s about we the people creating our own insurance pool with no profit seekers skimming off the top and trying to deny healthcare. Our 250 million-strong pool of people contributing to this program would lower costs for everyone and give more money to actual medical professionals.

This would give true freedom to people who are trapped in circumstances like a bad job or a bad marriage who remain just to have medical insurance.

Brian Dzyak, Encino


To the editor: Universal healthcare in California will stop being a dream as soon as legislators realize there are other sources of revenue besides taxpayers. The best source of additional funds are insurance companies.

Every car on the road is covered by an insurance policy that includes in its premiums a significant amount of money for medical care. Homeowner policies contain money for medical care. Each time you read about a lawsuit being settled in the millions of dollars, a large potion of it is in medical claims.

If California has universal healthcare, this money should be made available to the state to care for its residents.


Wayne Via, Dana Point


To the editor: Skelton uses every loaded term in the book to describe universal healthcare. Yes, universal healthcare is a social program, but the most successful societies are the ones that are most social — they take care of their weakest members.

We live in a society being torn apart by increasingly tense conflict between the haves and the have-nots. We simply can’t continue on this divisive path.

Guaranteeing quality healthcare for all would be a great start to healing the rift.

Jeff LaCoss, Los Angeles

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