Morgen on September 21, 2009 at 9:26 pm
While researching President Obama’s past opposition to an individual mandate for health insurance, I came across an interesting audio clip from 2007. Then Senator Obama was speaking to Laura Knoy of New Hampshire Public Radio. Click the link below to listen:
Obama: Senator Clinton’s plan for healthcare, my plan, John Edward’s plan are all similar in the sense that we set up a government plan alongside the private plans that people have. And people can buy in. And we all subsidize participation in that plan.
Laura Knoy: So it’s not universal, single payer healthcare such as Dennis Kucinich['s plan]?
Obama: Exactly. It’s not single payer, it’s a transitional system building on the existing systems that we have.
Laura Knoy: Transitional to what?
“Transitional to what?”, indeed. We’ve accumulated a lot of evidence in the past few months that the public option was designed specifically as a “transitional system” to single payer. Including unearthing a statement that Obama made just 2 months prior to this interview where he reportedly said that “it may be that we end up transitioning to” a single payer system “over time”. So did this interview turn out to be the definitive smoking gun we’ve been looking for?
Not quite, as it turns out. Here was Obama’s response to the question (click below to play):
Well, transitional hopefully because…uh…the system currently is such a patchwork of inefficiency, that over time I would want to see Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP)…all those integrated more effectively.
Now, given all the other evidence that the public option is indeed a trojan horse for single payer, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to surmise that this was a quick recovery on Obama’s part. And that a transition to single payer was exactly what he had in mind. However, even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and accept his clarification at face value his statement was only slightly less of a revelation. Because what he readily admitted to was that he wants his reform plan to be a transitionary step towards a complete consolidation of all government-run healthcare programs.
Have you heard any suggestion of this in the past 9 months? That Medicaid, Medicare, and S-CHIP would ultimately be “integrated” in any way. Of course not. Because the President wants you to believe that “if you like the plan you have now, you can keep it”. And the last thing he needs is for everyone to think about how close we will be to a single payer system if the government ultimately consolidated healthcare programs for children, the elderly, and the poor. And he definitely does not need seniors to be any more concerned that reform will impact the coverage they receive under Medicare.
But it inevitably will. The simple fact of the matter is that liberal Democrats will view any bill they pass as only a “transitional” step towards their ultimate goal of centralizing control over the health care system. This sort of incremental approach has been the hallmark of every liberal entitlement program, starting with social security. (Just ask Paul Begala.)
As far as I’m concerned, this ongoing disingenuousness by the President represents a total failure of genuine leadership on his part. A true leader builds momentum for change by laying out a full and transparent vision of the outcome they desire, and the necessary steps to get there. Even if they aren’t popular or would require painful sacrifices, as they often do.
But what we have gotten instead from this President is an ongoing stream of meaningless platitudes and reality defying claims, combined with a relentless attack on the integrity and intentions of anyone who dares question him.
In recent speeches, the President has been saying that he will “call out” anyone who misrepresents his health reform plan. The President is grossly underestimating the intensity of opposition to his health reform plan if he thinks conservatives will be cowed by this. We will not relent. And we will continue to call the President out as long as he continues to misrepresent his long-term agenda to the American people.