Sugar-Coated Public Option Is Still a Bitter Pill

No matter how the Senate ultimately tries to sugar-coat the public option plan, American voters don’t want to swallow the bitter pill of government-run health care.

And make no mistake about it — an effort is well underway to disguise the public option as a harmless government program.  Senate Majority Leader Reid included a so-called “opt-out” version of the public option in the bill introduced last week, though many senators are quietly talking about an amendment that will change it to a “trigger” public option.  A few weeks ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a Democrat Congresswoman floated a rebranding effort by calling it both the “consumer option” and the “competitive” option in a recent joint appearance. When pressed, Pelosi offered a classic red herring argument, claiming that Americans oppose the “public option” because the term wrongly implies it will be paid for through public funds, when in fact, she says, it would not.  In so doing, the speaker cleverly dodged the real reason why she and her allies are desperate to rebrand the public option — because the term “public” reminds all Americans that at its core, it’s a government-run plan.

All this is just a smokescreen to divert attention from the true reason liberals are so desperate to have a public option in the first place — because they know it will ultimately lead to a single-payer system.  Maybe not right away, as candidate Barack Obama once admitted: “There is a transition process.  I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out,” he says, of eliminating employer insurance plans entirely.   But President Obama has been much more sly since being inaugurated, no doubt anticipating the backlash that would come as a result.  But plenty of other prominent single-payer advocates, including Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Jan Schakowski, New York Times leading liberal Paul Krugman and the Washington Post’s leading big government health care advocate, Ezra Klein, all have candidly admitted (on camera, no less) that the public option plan will ultimately lead to a full-blown, government-run health care system.

So, no matter what it is called, any “opt-out,” opt-in” or “trigger” version of a government-run public option is still a vote that will ultimately force millions of Americans off their existing health care plans, subject them to rationing of needed care, long waiting lists, and will ultimately do nothing to reduce the cost of care — all with NO guarantee that you will be able to keep your current doctor.

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi’s efforts at re-branding and re-tooling the public option that is purely designed to lure centrist Senators into voting in favor of a mechanism that will allow a government-run plan to get a foot in the door so that a single-payer system can barge in soon after — because both Reid and Pelosi know that once that happens, big government health care is here to stay.

Pick your cliché, they all apply: it’s a Trojan horse; a shell game; a slippery slope.

Any vote by those in the Senate to support a government-run public option plan — in any form — is a vote against countless Americans who made their views very clear during town hall meetings only two months ago.  Americans spoke loudly and clearly in August that they only want one thing: lower costs.

But lower costs are not the goal of President Obama, nor Majority Leader Reid, nor Speaker Pelosi.  If it were, they wouldn’t support any proposal that will require over $1,500,000,000,000 (yes, that’s one trillion and 500 billion dollars) in new spending, hundreds of billions of dollars in higher taxes, agonizingly long waits for care, and faceless government bureaucrats in charge of our health care decisions.       

To the contrary, their goal isn’t to reform the health care system for patients, but for politics.  A vote for a public option – in any form – is a vote for government-run health care.