Morgen at Verum Serum catches a very different Robert Reich on the public option now, as opposed to two years ago when speaking to an audience at UC Berkeley. First, let’s look at the argument that Reich makes at the moment, attempting to tell people that only greedy SOBs in the health-care industry and “political operatives” looking to shiv Democrats in the next election don’t want a public option and a government-mandated overhaul of the American health-care system. Why, there’s nothing scary about it at all!

Next, let’s listen to Reich two years ago, who translates Barack Obama’s speeches and Congress’ concepts for us into actual meaning:

Reich takes the persona of a politician speaking truth to an electorate that “takes citizenship seriously,” and separates health-system overhaul myth from reality by saying:

  • Young, healthy people have to pay more — to treat other people
  • Old people will not get life-extending treatment because it will be too expensive.  “So we’re gonna let you die.”
  • Reduced costs mean less innovation and “less new products” [sic], “which means you are not going to live much longer than your parents”

Do you think he’s joking?  Listen to the entire speech here.  Pick it up at about the nine-minute mark, where most of this supposedly non-scary truth gets aired.  Immediately after the health-care portion, Reich tells the students that global warming requires a carbon tax that will make energy a lot more expensive for everyone.  The most amusing part of this is the declining amount of enthusiasm in the applause as Reich keeps going.  If Reich couldn’t sell this in Berkeley ….