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Shouldn't Confuse 'Socialized' Medicine With 'Socialism'--They Are Not the Same Thing

June 04, 1989

In his May 9 labor column, "After 40 years, Truman Is Proved Right on Health Care," Harry Bernstein reports that not only Lee A. Iacocca but also "a coalition of executives from many of the nation's largest corporations" have concluded that the only viable solution to spiraling medical care costs in the United States is the passage of a national health-care program.

As Bernstein notes, opponents of a national program in the past have "falsely denounced it as 'socialized medicine.' " Evidently, the word "socialized" has become to some people synonymous with the word "socialism," which it is not.

As defined by my dictionary, "socialized" means "to convert or adapt to the needs of society."

Although generally not referred to as such, our police department is, in reality, a socialized police department, serving the needs of our society. Our socialized fire department also serves the needs of our society. No less important, the needs of our society should also be served with socialized medicine.

CARL M. LEVIN

Los Angeles

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