Saturday, September 12, 2009

By Conservative Logic: Israel = Nazist Socialist Empire

A motley crew of tea-baggers, birthers, conservatives, and anti-healthcare reform protestors (among others) have made some pretty outlandish claims about President Obama. In particular, they have described Obama's proposals for healthcare reform (and other policies) as "socialism" and Nazism. Although I feel odd paying attention to these silly "arguments," I also believe that taking illogical positions to their patently absurd and illogical conclusions can help illuminate a discussion. So here goes.

The Skinny: Israel = Nazist Socialist Empire
Applying conservative logic regarding healthcare reform would lead one to conclude that Israel is a Nazist socialist empire. Why? Israel has universal healthcare. Everyone is insured by nonprofit plans funded by the government. Insurance is mandatory, but participants have a access to a full range of plans. Progressive income taxes fund the system, and the government pays for care received by patients. The World Health Organization rated Israel's healthcare system 28th in the world in 2000.

Don't Get Too Excited
Last month, an anti-reform protestor yelled "Heil Hitler" at a Jewish man who praised Israel's healthcare system during a Las Vegas town hall meeting. Apparently, illogic (and bigotry) persists even when it is too blatant to deny.

For an analysis of healthcare in Israel, see: Health Systems in Transition: Israel.

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