The model of health insurance itself, in its very simplest form, is not contradictory to, yes, a socialist society. Before regulations were even concepts to apply to a monopolized market of who got to insure whom, workplaces, even in Capitalist America, had formed their own free associations for the workers (mostly male) and their families. Doctors could then choose who to give care to, and routine screenings and procedures could be kept at prices so that all might be able to eat, do their line of work, and essentially, be healthy.
When these things were wrested from workers’ control and more or less freely associated pools of resources to care for all parties involved, who agreed to stipulations based on the groups formed in workplaces, the practice of medicine also shifted from serving those who needed the care (in still, yes, a very much less than perfect system that still had its faults) to an imagined “omega” point of some sort, be it the desire to progress as this large machine in the name of advancement or the “greater good” with profits always undergirding those desires. Yes, I am very much simplifying 200 or so years of economic development to make a point that may seem elusive.
Deciding to be a part of a group where individuals gauge their own risks in order to be a part of and pool resources to take care of each according to the ability and needs is what insurance in its basic structure is based on. We see failures occurring all around us presently, and the theatre that is being spun as how people will be taken care of (or not, in more cases than not for those who cannot afford these “plans” and then the inevitable cutting of funds by rightists once they take office further penalizing poor people in codified tax form) will become truths for the folks who are already suffering from lack of care and representation.
I have seen firsthand the intricacies of the many failures capitalized models of insurance present for people daily, and this restructuring of sorts will be no different as far as deprivation of care for those who need it most. The irony of everything that is sold on mainstream media levels is that 1) conservative tea-partiers and sympathizers and such really do like their medicare, and liberal progressives pick up on this big time as some sort of answer to their protestations of supposed “socialized” medicine when the regulations they long for from a “cradle to grave” form of, in reality, repressive apparatus known as “government” deprives all people living within the political borders of the US the chance to socialize on a level distinct from demonized definitions of socialism, communism, mutualism, etc, and actually provide for the individuals they would freely choose to interact with. 2) the idea that individuals will be provided for according to the needs they specifically have in order to maintain or become healthy are being dumped for the wholly collective and all-encompassing needs of empire.
As I briefly discussed with some cool peeps on twitter recently, living and trying to do it well free of the guilt associated with even doing so in a class that requires your existence for only a short amount of time to contribute to capital’s reserve army of labor and all the stresses and misery that goes into being a person dodging all the constructs already decided upon for you is a form of resistance that cannot be taken lightly. Who would you like to associate with? Who has your back? What are you willing to do for those other people? How can you arrange your finances right now to help care for the health of yourself and others you care for? These are questions we should have considered long before “health reform” was decided for us, but are of the utmost importance now. Despite this concretization of bloated, monolithic empires within that of the larger one known as the “country” of the US, we have power to realize as individuals collected to serve ourselves and each other, diffuse as wide as the “preserved union” itself.