I haven't seen Sicko yet, but the discussion that it has generated on getting rid of the for-profit, parasitic, middlemen health insurance companies has helped me to come up with a tighter phrase.
We're not advocating for "socialized medicine." We're advocating for "socialized health insurance."
Private, for-profit or non-profit medicine -- meaning doctors and nurses and hospitals -- continues. It's just the health insurance side of things we want to socialize.
Now, some can argue that we should avoid the adjective "socialized" under any circumstances, but I'm not sure about that. We do want government health insurance, just like Medicare. And the other side wants corporate health insurance, just like we have now.
We don't want doctors and nurses working for the government. We want them private (if they want to be -- if they'd rather work for government hospitals, that's fine too). But we want all private providers to be paid by the government, instead of paid by corporate, for-profit insurance companies.
When our opponents attack with a dishonest, designed-to-confuse phrase like "socialized medicine" I like an honest, designed-to-clarify response like "socialized health insurance" to make them defend the corporate health insurance companies.
Thanks to Michael Moore for advancing the discussion.
Cross-posted at my dailykos page