Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eugene Lyons - Red Decade - socialized medicine in the Soviet Union

In 1941, Eugene Lyons wrote Red Decade - a chronicle of pro-Soviet activities among the American left during the 1930's. He described the willful blindness of visitors to the Soviet Union, who would avoid the painful reality at all costs and come home to America to spread pro-Soviet spin:
A number of American physicians looked at hospitals which, in their own country, would have been condemned as a menace - hospitals without cleanliness, order or elementary competence - and went home to sing hymns of praise to Soviet medicine. It was enough for them that the mess was labeled "socialized medicine." They never bothered to see the confusion underneath. One honest Russian physician, if he had dared talk and the visitors had dared to listen, could have set them right.
p. 94 [1971 edition]

The administration will, no doubt, parade a stream of "doctors" before Congress who will sing the praises of socialized medicine (although they won't call it by that name). When you see that dog-and-pony show, remember how a few "doctors" represented Soviet medicine to the American people during the Stalin era.

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