Of course, it is. ObamaCare meets all the major requirements of historical socialism to be defined as socialism. It is appropriate to label it as "socialist" in political debate, because that label establishes for political reference the great distance between ObamaCare and, even with Medicare and even with the enormous Federal contribution to paying other medical costs, the mixed medical economy in which most Americans participate. Only the term, socialism, appropriately carries the full implications of the centralized, nationalized, administration of medicine, in which personal, private property in medical choice, in medical employment, the training and practice of medicine, and the remnants of a medical market economy is relinguished to state control.
Is ObamaCare communism? Not theoretical Marxist communism. Marxist communism sees a stateless socialist economy, in which the working class is politically in charge. The main impediment to a social transition to communism, so classically defined, is the political elite, defined as a political class. It aggregates centralized governmental power to itself and no sane person believes it would give it up to any alternative. This is no different in the US. Indeed, most people could not even imagine an American political economy, in medicine or in any other sector, in which the state disappears. Of course, no society ever made the transition to genuine Marxist communism. The socialist and communist parties, once having seized government, loved governmental power and refused to give it up. So in reality, "communism" quickly became state totalitarianism in the name of the proletariat. Does ObamaCare measure up to this evil standard? No; but there are elements of state control of medicine and the medical economy that have the potential for political mischief and misery. The proposed Medicare Commission and the proposed subcommissions and their "czars" are to rule by bureaucratic fiat, removed from daily, operative supervision by political representatives of the voting public. Bureaucratic fiat is not command, but it edges toward command; command is not totalitarianism, but it edges toward totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is a harsh and ugly word with horrific historical references; nonetheless, for the patient inside ObamaCare, the control and constraints on her or his medical care will have many of the compulsions of totalitarianism.
The character of ObamaCare is clarified by looking at alternative models elsewhere in the world. A private insurance medical system with an individual mandate, operating within a free, but structured, medical market, as in Switzerland, offers one model. Health care in the Netherlands offers another model. In the Netherlands, government insurance deals with long term care and regulated private insurance handles shorter term care. There are existing American alternatives. Most Americans, who are not inside governmental medical programs, are covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance programs. These programs could easily be expanded and extended within an individual mandate as part of a free medical market reform of health care. What these comparisons make clear is that ObamaCare was carefully crafted to eliminate individual choice, market mechanisms, and private property, and to expand government control of medicine through fiat. Notwithstanding the substitution of "exchanges" for a public option. Nothwithstanding the President's disavowals to the contrary. ObamaCare would bury an important component of American personal freedom. By using appropriate and accurate political labels, such as socialism, we make this fate clear.