Barone: Of course Obama wants a single-payer system
posted at 2:56 pm on August 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Michael Barone qualifies himself for Linda Douglass’ ire by holding Barack Obama accountable for his own words, and those of his Congressional allies, in the ObamaCare debate. Michael analyzes a video posted last May by Verum Serum (also posted at Hot Air) in which the origins of the Trojan horse of a public plan get revealed. He concludes that the primary dishonesty in this debate is the attempt by the White House to scrub its record of supporting single payer:
One video is worth a thousand words (or, as in this column, about 730). The video in question, put together by a group called Verum Serum, shows public statements by three advocates of single-payer (government monopoly) health insurance explaining that a health care bill with a “government option” would move America toward a single-payer government health care system. You may not have heard of the first two, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and professor Jacob Hacker. But you have heard of the third, President Barack Obama.
Schakowsky is a left-wing Democrat from the north side of Chicago and adjacent suburbs and, as chief deputy whip, part of the House Democratic leadership. The video shows her speaking to an enthusiastic group last April. She cites an insurance company spokesman as saying, “A public option will put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer.” The audience cheers. “My single-payer friends,” she goes on, “he was right.” Later she adds, “This is not a principled fight. This is a fight about strategy for getting there, and I believe we will.” …
Speaking of the government option in 2008, he says, “Someone told me this was a Trojan horse for single-payer. Well, it’s not a Trojan horse, right? It’s just right there. I’m telling you. We’re going to get there, over time, slowly, but we’ll move away from reliance on employer-based health insurance as we should, but we’ll do it in a way that we’re not going to frighten people into thinking they’re going to lose their private insurance. …”
And what about Obama? The video captures Obama supporting single payer as well as a transition to it, much as the Naked Emperor News video did — the one that drew the ire of Douglass in the first place. Morgen at VS points out that the Obama campaign actually highlighted these passages during the presidential campaign to fight back against arguments that he opposed single-payer health care:
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.
Why, it’s almost as if Obama and the Democrats think Americans are idiots who can’t make choices for themselves.