Senator Bernie Sanders makes the excellent point. The Republicans try to scare us that socialized medicine will be terrible, but the truth is that we already have socialized medicine in this country — it is run by the Veterans Administration. If any politician tried to get rid of the VA health benefits, they would quickly lose their job.
Likewise, the Republicans try to scare us that single payer health insurance will be horrible, but the truth is that we already have single payer health insurance in this country — it is called Medicare. And any politician who tried to get rid of Medicare would also find themselves quickly out of a job. In fact, even Dubya added a prescription benefit to Medicare.
So when Republicans try to scare you by throwing around terms like single payer or socialized medicine, it isn’t because they won’t work or won’t be popular, they are scared that they will work and they will be popular. Of course, that’s if the Republicans don’t manage to purposely make health care reform horrible (like they did with the prescription drug benefit they added to Medicare).
UPDATE: The Anonymous Liberal makes the point that in order “to adopt the Republican position on health care requires believing that every other country in the world is wrong, that their policy experts are misguided and their citizens confused. Indeed it requires believing that the American people themselves are wrong, that despite endless opinion polls to the contrary, people in this country really love the system we have.”