Monday, August 3, 2009

Truth v. Spin: The Public Option, "Competition" and the Single Payer System

The House Democratic Leadership released a strategy memo over the weekend, laying out their ObamaCare plan of attack for Summer Break. TalkingPointsMemo has the whole thing here (PDF), but here's the crux (emphasis mine):

Our message is simple. It is in sync with the White House. And it counters the Republican ‘government takeover’ message. Hold the insurance companies accountable. Remove them from between you and your doctor. No discrimination for pre-existing conditions. No dropping your coverage because you get sick. No more job or life decisions made based on loss of coverage. No need to change doctors or plans. No co-pays for preventive care. No excessive out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, or co-pays. No yearly or lifetime cost caps on what insurance companies cover.
So it's time to create, and then attack, the health insurance company bogeymen. Ok, well, this isn't really news, as we saw Speaker Pelosi go agro on these "villains" late last week. She's so subtle.

I guess it's interesting to see the strategy memo and the Speaker's seamless implementation of it, but for my money, the really interesting part is the memo's purpose: to counter the "government takeover message," i.e., the argument that the public option would lead to a "single payer" system because private insurers would be crowded out of the health market, leaving the government to be the only remaining option.

That's nonsense, the Dems say. We're just trying to inject "competition" and "accountability" into the market to counter the evil insurance companies. We're fighting THEM for YOU!


Well, leaving aside skeptics like me, that line of argument might work... well, maybe, but only if new video weren't just released showing numerous Democrats, including President Obama himself, freely admitting that the Dems' "strategy" is based on a lie, and that the public option is precisely what they deny it to be: a "trojan horse" for single payer. Take away, President Obama:

Back to the drawing board, I guess.

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