This country was first a monarchy, then a republic. As a consequence of the American Revolutionary War, a representative democracy was established (Amendment XVII to the Constitution). Americans were not born free and democratic by any sense. In effect, democracy was a fight against the entrenched elite.
George Will, a conservative contributor and commentator on Fox News, recently summed it up for Republicans: "Let's not get sentimental about democracy. We don't get to choose whether or not the elite will govern. We get to choose which elite will govern." Obviously Will's comment shows contempt for democracy and advances the notion of obedience to the elite.
Our democratic system must control critical necessities, especially health and education. Health care and education are not ordinary free market commodities. America's health system is owned by wealthy insurance companies that control cost and regulations and is unpopular with the public. In every person's lifetime, health care will be biased based on insurer's profitability, therefore allowing incalculable suffering and even death.
Liberals think a public option should be added to discipline for-profit insurers controlling the high cost of health coverage.
Conservatives oppose this option, convinced it's better to discipline the individual -- if an individual has medical coverage, they won't work. This is their dictatorial approach to world order.
This isn't about socialism driving health care to a centralized system; it's the insurance company's profits aided by Republican shackles.