Right, I'm going to wade in. Accordingly to Jed* social security is the third rail of US politics- well I might have to disagree, because healthcare is doing a darned good job.
As a follower of facebook I am kind of intrigued that people I know from the US are incredibly angry about the proposed healthcare reforms. The vitriol is pretty huge. This week Jimmy Carter named it as racism: I think he is a bit out of touch (see also comments about women a couple months ago.. he is talking like its fifteen years ago). There may be an element of race, but what I see is the rearing of a somewhat McCarthian head.
Something that I have never understood about right wing US politics is the fear of 'Big Government', I know that people can argue that its a Union of States but it is a nation and deals as one. To my mind the debate over healthcare is along these lines, but is being twisted by that word 'social'.
I think deep in the subconscious there remains a McCarthyite fear of anything that might possibly be at all like communism. There follows a thought that anything social must mean totalitarianism!
Add to that a few well placed ads and you are away with this ludicrous unreasoned attack. Yes criticise. Yes count the cost. Yes disagree. But don't witch hunt.
Oh and of course medicine is big US business!