Karl Marx would be proud. The pre-eminent capitalist nation is on its way to what Marx says is a communal life.
Most would say that it is a far stretch for America, the traditional warrior against communism, to be headed toward that system. However, America has been making steady progress since before the establishment of the nation.
According to some interpretations of Marx, communism is not a system that is to be established, but will naturally come about. This interpretation says that a nation will naturally go through stages – to reach the ideal, a nation must go through a progression; first, colonialism; from colonialism to capitalism, capitalism to socialism; and finally from socialism to communism.
The United States began as a colonial nation, and then quickly took its first step by adopting a capitalist economic system. While the U.S. has yet to make the transition from capitalism to socialism, the passing of the health care bill has wrought fundamental political and social changes that Marx said are necessary to create the ideal society.
Social unification and the elimination of class systems are Marx’s ideal for a society. Social Security, Medicare, and now health care reform are all steps the U.S. has taken to help socially unify the nation by handing those in the lower economic classes the same coverage as those in the higher economic classes.
While unifying the nation and giving coverage to all, even those who would not normally be able to afford it, this socialized health care is one step closer to what Marx says is the ideal utopian communist society. The health care reform bill alone doesn’t make a socialist society, but combined with the other government regulations to benefit the public, and if the legislative and executive branches continue to pass bills and sign broad regulatory acts, the United States is well on its way to becoming a socialist nation.
Although at least one staunch Obama supporter has said, “The bill is not socialist enough,” others would say the health care bill is pure capitalism because money is paid to private insurance companies, not the state. However, the state is set to shell out $940 billion over ten years.
This investment is estimated to reduce the deficit by $143 billion over the first ten years. The government will raise this money by charging private insurance companies, who will be part of the state-based exchange and subsidies program, a 40 percent excise tax. As of 2014, people who choose to opt out of this health care exchange program and refuse to buy insurance will be fined $695 annually. Basically the government will be forcing citizens to have health insurance.
With continued government regulation for unifying the nation and blurring the lines between social classes, Marx said that communism will come as a result of overthrowing all existing social conditions. The passing of the health care bill is just another notch in the belt of communism. After all, socialism is the gateway to communism.