Socialized Medicine Losing its Stigma?

In keeping with yesterday’s posting on the abysmal state of education in this country, this story which discusses a poll on what “socialized medicine” means to a group of survey respondents caught my attention. Among the findings:
* 67% said they understood what “socialized medicine” meant;
* Of those, 79% said the term means that the government makes sure everyone has health insurance;
* Only 32% said it means that the government tells doctors what to do;
* Of those who said they understand the term, 45% said that if America had socialized medicine, the health care system would be better, while 39% said it would be worse.
The fact that 79% of those who thought they understood what “socialized medicine” means said that it meant that the government made sure everyone has health insurance is not unexpected, but the finding that only 32% understood that giving everyone health insurance also means that doctors would be forced to obey government dictates is unfortunate and a clear sign of economic ignorance.
Obviously, we at the Rio Grande Foundation oppose socialized medicine or anything like it with every fiber of our being, but if Americans are convinced to go along with such a scheme without understanding that government would quickly be inserted into every health care decision Americans make, they are buying a bill of goods. This is an educational burden and opportunity for free market advocates.