Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 10, 2009 / 20 Menachem-Av 5769

Government health care in stealth mode

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One video is worth a thousand words (or, as in this column, about 730). The video in question, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ-6ebku3_E, 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."


Schakowsky sounds self-assured but angry, perhaps because her husband, Robert Creamer, served five months in prison a few years ago for bank fraud and failure to pay withholding taxes. Hacker, Yale's Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science, sounds friendly and cheerful in appearances recorded in January 2007 and July 2008. With a government option plan, he says in 2007, "You can at least make the claim that there's a competitive system between the public and the private sector," but he predicts that the government option "would eliminate the small group insurance."


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. We're going to give them a choice of public and private insurance when they're in the pool, and we're going to let them keep their private employer-based insurance if their employer continues to provide it."


Of course, there's no guarantee employers will. Many employers, single-payer advocates hope, will be happy to let their employees go onto the government plan. The Lewin Group, cited often by various analysts, estimates that a government-option plan, depending on how the law is written, could move as many as 100 million households off private insurance and onto the government plan in a few years.


Obama has never made his ultimate goal a secret; it's the same as Schakowsky's and Hacker's. The video shows him saying in October 2003, when he was running for the U.S. Senate, "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care program." He adds, "We may not get there immediately," noting the Democrats must "take back" the White House and both houses of Congress — a condition fulfilled last Jan. 20.


Campaigning for president in May 2007, he says, "But I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately." That seems to imply that his goal remains the same as it was in 2003. "There's going to be potentially some transition process — I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out, where we've got a much more portable system." Which of course government health insurance would be. You couldn't get away from it. The president's defenders depict this video and others like it as a patchwork of irrelevant and misleading statements. They also cite Obama's oft-repeated pledges that any health care bill he would sign would let you keep the insurance you have. They don't address the point, raised by Hacker, that you can't keep it if your employer stops offering it.


But, as Schakowsky says, "This is not a principled fight." Schakowsky, Hacker and Obama believe, out of idealism but also perhaps for crass political reasons, that America would be better off with a single-payer system like Canada's or Britain's. But they realize that they're operating in a country where most voters don't agree. The video helps us understand how they're seeking to reach their single-payer goal through government-option stealth.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




Michael Barone Archives

© 2009, Washington Examiner; DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles