Morgen on June 30, 2009 at 10:28 pm
It’s clear at this point that the defining political debate over healthcare reform will be whether the final legislation includes some version of a public insurance plan. Liberals are mobilizing their forces in support of the public plan at a level not seen since the deciding months of the Presidential campaign. And of course most major media organizations and pundits are readily promoting the Administration’s talking points without offering any sustained or substantive challenges. In other words, the Administration is in as good of a position as they could ever hope to be in order to control the public dialogue related to healthcare reform.
And yet, amazingly, it is far from certain at this point whether there will be enough support in the Senate to pass even a watered-down version of the public plan. Liberals of course are blaming this fact on the more “conservative” makeup of the Senate, which includes a sizable contingent of moderate Democrats and Republicans to go along with the block of conservatives who will oppose any public plan. However, while it’s true that Senate moderates will likely cast the deciding votes, I think there is a much more fundamental reason for why the public plan is in so much jeopardy:
The proponents of the public plan are lying.
We’ve documented this extensively here on VS of course, with everyone from the original architect of the public plan strategy, to members of the House and Senate, and even a major media advocate, admitting on tape that the ultimate agenda of the public plan is to put private insurers out of business.
But I think there is another important point to make in support of this claim. An immensely popular President has asserted that the public plan is intended only as a positive influence in the market, fostering competition and leading the way in cost efficiency. And recent polls demonstrate that support for the public plan as described by the President is as high as 70-80%. And yet in spite of all this the President is having difficulty obtaining enough support…from MODERATES!? What could possibly explain this? It’s simple:
The proponents of the public plan are lying, and doing so transparently.
For anyone who has paid more than casual attention to the evolution of the Democrats’ platform for health reform over the past few years, it could not be any more obvious that the public plan was devised solely as a politically viable strategy to move the country towards a single-payer model. Why else would so many liberal members of Congress who have always strongly advocated for single-payer now support the President’s plan? As much as we may disparage them, these moderate Senators are not idiots and most of them represent constituencies that would be strongly opposed to a government take-over of healthcare. And they know full well that this is the underlying agenda of the public plan.
If some how, some way, the healthcare reform initiative completely falls apart in the coming months, or even if a bill passes but without a public plan, liberals will have only themselves to blame. Ultimately those who will be most responsible are the disingenuous, despicable proponents of the public plan strategy who thought they would be able to fool enough members of Congress and the public in order to pass this obvious Trojan Horse into law.
And these craven, unprincipled liars may yet pull this off. But a much more honorable approach, one worthy at least of respect, would have been for them to stake out a transparent position in favor of transitioning towards a single-payer system. Perhaps in doing so the ultimate compromise solution may have (unfortunately) ended up something like the public plan option. But in blatantly lying to the American public they have lost all credibility, and as far as I’m concerned they deserve to fail. And fail miserably.