The US health care system largely awards the haves and ignores the have-nots. Having health care tied to employment puts each of us one paycheck away from a health care disaster. It has also made the cost of running a business higher in the US than it needs to be, and has given us the lowest health care standards in the world among developed countries. There is clearly a need for change. The behavior of protestors at recent town hall meetings over the health care issue may be a realization among the haves that the time may be coming when have-nots (including the recently unemployed) are going to be provided for.
However, the fear that they are showing is, I think, more than just that. The fear is coming from the far right's being out of power and politically impotent (at least for the moment), which they then blame on every possible conspiracy theory that comes their way. And of course the far right commentators are having a field day fueling this vulnerability with unbelievable lies and outrageous rumors.
I think I can understand this -- to a degree. In fact, if Mr. Obama were a Republican with Bush-Cheney political policies, I too would be grasping for any possible conspiracy that might, in some remote way, reduce his power and remove him from office. That is what I am really hearing from the screaming opponents to health care. They are like a trapped animal striking out where they can -- and health care reform just happened to be what they hit.
Update 12Aug09: Related AP News Story on the Rise of Right Wing Militia Groups in the US - driven by a whole slew of conspiracy theories.