Morgen on May 12, 2009 at 5:30 pm
Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), testified before Congress last Wednesday on the Obama Administration’s plans for healthcare reform. Lo and behold, in the midst of her sales pitch to Congress, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) asked her about the controversial comments made by Rep. Jan Schakowsky last month at a rally for healthcare reform (first reported here on Verum Serum). Watch:
Charlie Rangel to the rescue! I only wish Rep. Roskam had included Schakowsky’s comment about putting the private insurers out of business. Did you catch that Rep. Schakowsky herself was not in attendance at this hearing? I guess she must have had other plans…
In all seriousness, the duplicity and re-direction on this issue by liberal Democrats is getting very tedious. As I posted here just yesterday, Secretary Sebelius indicated her own preference for a single-payer model in 2007. And her statements clearly implied that providing a government insurance plan for the uninsured was the way to “eventually” get there.
Even more telling, take a look once again at what President Obama had to say about his preferences for healthcare reform while speaking to the AFL-CIO in 2003:
“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer, universal healthcare plan [applause]…but as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, and we got to take back the Senate, and we got to take back the House.
Check, check, and check. Here is the bottom-line truth to all of this. Hardcore liberal Democrats and healthcare activists have been working on their strategy for moving the country to a single-payer model for a long, long time. The so called “public plan option” is that strategy. There should be no doubt about this. And they will do whatever it takes to get the support of enough moderate members of Congress to pass the bill. And barring that they plan on using the budget reconciliation process to force it through the Senate with 51 votes.
Our only chance is for conservatives to continue to expose what the liberals’ real agenda is with this, and to ratchet up the pressure on moderate Democrats to renounce support for the public plan option. We will continue to make whatever impact we can on this. Please help us spread the word.
Related: One further bit of support for what Morgen is claiming here comes from this Politico piece:
President Barack Obama and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) rarely pass up a chance to snub single-payer health care â€” a term that means a government-run system. So opponents on the left who want their voices heard in the debate over health care reform are planning to yell a little bit louder as Congress considers creating a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers.
Their strategy is simple: By pushing hard for single-payer health care, a robust public insurance option ends up looking like a compromise Democrats could accept.
“The best way to get half the pie is ask for the whole pie,” said Katie Robbins, assistant national coordinator of Healthcare-Now, which will not endorse the public plan but acknowledges the strategy. “It is like horse trading.”