Weaponizing Socialist Medicine

As the New York Times reports, Venezuela’s socialist Maduro regime deployed Cuban doctors to give medical treatment to those who promised to vote for Maduro and deny medical treatment to those who did not. The doctors told one emergency patient that oxygen tanks were being reserved for those who would vote for the reigning socialist. For patients outside of Venezuela, this atrocity should be educational.

What American politicians like to call “socialized medicine” is actually government monopoly health care. In Venezuela, the people have no independent alternative, which empowers the government to leverage their vote, and a lot more. Contrary to socialist belief, when politicians gain power they do not shed human vices and prejudices. That’s why it’s dangerous to give politicians unchecked power and take away the choices of the people. As we noted, Americans had a taste of that in the so-called Affordable Care Act.

Under that scheme, you don’t get the health care you want, only the health care the government wants you to have. Contrary to what the president claimed, you couldn’t keep your doctor or your plan, and the rates were going to skyrocket. The ACA was a disaster from the start but its demolition of choice gave the president’s designated successor, Hillary Clinton, grounds to push for “single-payer”, another euphemism for government monopoly health care.

American politicians now push for “single payer” as part of what they call “democratic socialism.” Supposedly it will work fine this time with enlightened people like themselves at the helm. Skeptics can find a better model in Venezuela. Vote for Big Brother or no health care for you.

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at American Greatness.
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