From the diaries, by Erick. Rick Scott is the head of Conservatives for Patients’ Rights and knows what he’s talking about.
What are we up to now, six different names for the public option? Let us count the ways desperate Democrats have tried to re-brand, re-tool, re-name or re-invent what is, by all accounts, a plot that will ultimately force millions of Americans into the waiting arms of government health care bureaucrats.
During the 2008 campaign, the public option was described as “government-run plan similar to Medicare.” Whoa…really? The same Medicare plan that cannot now meet its own financial obligations and is projected to be come up short by $38 trillion by the time the youngest Americans will need it? No wonder we haven’t heard that description much lately.
After the presidential inauguration, talk of the public option steadily picked up steam, reaching a fever pitch in August when senior citizens were shouting down their elected officials and canceling their AARP memberships in droves, and while Tea Party activists were getting their fingers bitten off at town hall meetings – all due to strong opposition against any form of government-run health care.
By late October, Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew it was a tough sell. She began slathering lipstick on the public option pig, calling it both the “consumer option” and the “competitive option.” It didn’t stick, and it didn’t matter, because a large number of House Democrats are hell-bent on getting the government’s foot in the door of private health care so they would have voted for it no matter what it was called.
But the Senate is a different ballgame, and that 60-vote hurdle is looming. To clear it, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has some serious sugar-coating to do before his colleagues will choke down any version of the public option. So far, it’s been floated as an “opt-out” public option, an “opt-in” public option, and a “trigger” public option.
Next week, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) will, as he says, attempt to “thread the needle” by recasting the public option yet again. Thus far he’s been tight-lipped about his plans, but it really doesn’t matter.
A bait-and-switch can only work when it takes the victim by surprise, an opportunity Sen. Carper and the Democrats lost months ago. Even House Finance Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has admitted that the public option will lead to government-run health care and may even be the best way to get there.
They can sugar-coat the public option all they want, but it’s still a poison pill.