Oregon Takes a Stab at Socialized Medicine

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Oregon Takes a Stab at Socialized Medicine

Among the items on ballots next Tuesday is a proposal in Oregon for universal health care. Remember, this is the same state that also allows doctor-assisted suicide. Maybe Oregonians need treatment for their split personalities.

"Measure 23" would compel the state to become the sole payer of medical bills, which are expected to total more than $20 billion a year by 2005.

The Oregon plan is simply socialized medicine that resembles Hillary Clinton’s defeated plan. The usual class warfare rhetoric is dragged out of the closet. Medical care costs too much so the rich should pay for the middle class and poor.

Measure 23 would create still another bureaucracy to run the state program and doctors and hospitals would treat patients without charge.

Needless to say, a large tax increase would pay for it all. Like all other government programs, once something becomes an entitlement, costs increase and so will taxes. And, like all government subsidized entitlements, once enacted, the bureaucracy will balloon into a colossus that can never be downsized or removed. The surest guarantee that a problem will never be solved is to create a government program to address it.

Are people thinking about the implications of this? Apparently not. Polls show an almost even split on the issue. If it passes, watch for socialized medicine to spread.

I’m Cal Thomas in Washington.

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