Our Health Care history of reform for the past 60+ years has always carried with it the mantra of Socialized Medicine, screamed so loudly it drowns out talk of anything else. The fear of anything other than the status quo is always met with the most dire of consequences and usually it's enough to kill any further discussion.
That we've come this far in our quest for Health Care reform is a miracle, since it's been so furiously shot down so viciously for so long.
Take for example this Lincoln Day address from February 10, 1949, given by Isolationist/Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg when talk of Health Care reform comes around:
Sen. Vandenberg: “There is a vast propaganda today for Socialized Medicine. I think it would destroy precious personal relationships in the American way of life. That it would produce wholesale mediocrity in the skills which serve the sick. And saddle us with a new and appalling bureaucracy. But this does require me to blind my eyes to the existence of a crushing and well neigh universal sick problem in lives of millions of our citizens. It is a problem that must be met but we have a choice of methods; one is voluntary and therefore typically American. The other is involuntary and therefore typically bureaucratic. The latter is socialized Medicine. The former is cooperative Medicine. I expect the American people and the Republican Party to choose the former. I want my party to look at the great humanitarian cooperative efforts of the Blue Cross for example, which represents cooperation and not compulsion.”
That the argument, even in 1949, is so filled with fear and falsehoods that any reasonable person would question the speakers motives. That he speaks so highly of Blue Cross is an indication. This was during a time Blue Cross didn't have the strangle hold over the Health Care Industry they do now. Yet then, as now the blatant fear and dire consuequences is the same.
The stranglehold however, is a lot firmer.