Morgen on August 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm
Over the past several weeks, the President has forcefully and repeatedly claimed that those of us who say his health reform plan will ultimately lead to a government take-over of the health care are “not telling the truth”. Just this past weekend, he lashed out again at these claims, calling them “outlandish rumors”.
Perhaps the White House should stop and consider that most of these “rumors” have been generated by members of his own party, who have admitted that the public option will over time lead to a fully nationalized, single-payer system. It all started with the clip we discovered of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) back in April. Followed by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI). And more recently, this clip of Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), which was also first brought to light by VS.
Perhaps the White House should also consider that high profile media supporters of the President’s plan have also played a key role in initiating these crazy rumors. Most directly (and amusingly) there is this video we discovered and posted of Washington Post reporter Ezra Klein. And that great sage of liberal economic wisdom – Paul Krugman – recently got into the act as well.
But if all of this is STILL not enough for the Administration to consider that perhaps these “rumors” are not so unfounded after all, I have another rumor-monger to submit for the record. The President himself. From a “Fact Check” posted on the Obama campaign web site in Jan. 2008, quoting Senator Obama:
“Here’s the bottom line. If I were designing a system from scratch I would probably set up a single-payer system…But we’re not designing a system from scratch…And when we had a healthcare forum before I set up my healthcare plan here in Iowa there was a lot of resistance to a single-payer system. So what I believe is we should set up a series of choices….Over time it may be that we end up transitioning to such a system. For now, I just want to make sure every American is covered…I don’t want to wait for that perfect system… (Ed. emphasis added)
There you have it – straight from the mouth of the accuser. “Over time it may be that we end up transitioning to such a system.” A single payer system. A “perfect” system. Quick, someone alert the White House rumor police – the President is claiming that the government is trying to takeover our healthcare system!
Now these words were reportedly uttered by then Senator Obama at a town hall meeting on health care held with seniors in Ames, IA on September 21, 2007. The original source of the quote was an Obama Community blog post by someone who attended the event. I have looked long and hard for a video or transcript of this event, without success unfortunately.
But considering the quote came from a direct (and pro-Obama) source, and that the Obama campaign used it for an official “Fact Check”, it seems reasonable to presume that it’s accurate. After all, it’s entirely consistent with the statements I linked above from other supporters of the President’s plan. And it’s also consistent with what John Edwards had to say about his healthcare plan during the campaign, which was virtually identical to Obama’s plan. However, if the White House would like to refute this, then they should release a full video from the Iowa event.
Also, take note that the point of the “Fact Check” was to refute the claim that Obama “opposes single payer health care”. In other words, it’s sole purpose was to boost Senator Obama’s credibility with PRO single-payer advocates, by repeatedly pointing out that if he was “starting from scratch” he would of course support a single payer system. So in this context, it’s even more apparent why this statement from the Iowa town hall was included.
This is, after all, the delicate (and disingenuous) balancing act that ObamaCare proponents have been conducting for a while now. Trying to maintain the support of liberal single payer advocates by secretly assuring them that the public plan is an incremental, and politically necessary, step towards their ultimate goal. All the while proclaiming to the rest of us that the public plan is only intended to provide more “choice” and “competition” in the marketplace. Uh huh.
So before the White House casts any more aspersions on those who claim that the President’s plan will ultimately lead to a single payer system, they might want to more carefully consider the basis for these claims. And if the President really wants to know where these “outlandish rumors” are coming from, he may want to look at some members of his own party. In fact, he may want to start by looking in the mirror.