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Reinstated: Pres. Obama: “Public Option” Health Care Is Trojan Horse for Single Payer

August 10, 2009

Video suspended for suspect credibility.  Please see explanation in my reply to Timmy C’s  comment.

This is the Count, and I’m hijacking the Duke’s thread. After viewing  Timmy’s comments, I’ve decided to reinstate this video. If nothing else, the idea that President Obama would like to use the Public Option as a way of getting this country to a single payer health care system is in the words of Howard Dean “an interesting theory“. As such it should be up for discussion, which may or may not result in rebuttal. I will not be intimidated into taking it down, nor will I remove it out of some misguided and naive notion of fairness which the Democrats have no intention of honoring themselves.

To wit:

Don’t like it? Get a thrill up your leg an inform on me at

In brief, after perusing Timmy’s links below, I feel that this video is fair enough in it’s points and it is once again Timmy who is credulous as to Democratic talking points.

The argument for single-payer is pretty good and worth having- why not just skip to that instead of pretending that’s not the ultimate goal? More later— The Count

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuttle permalink
    August 6, 2009 10:31 am

    This week the White House web site is asking for people to report friends and neighbors who oppose the gov’t take over of health care.

    Linda Douglass, communications director for the White House Health Reform Office, is asking Americans to watch their personal emails — even “casual conversation” — in order to INFORM THE WHITE HOUSE OF ANYTHING “FISHY” being said about ObamaCare!

    Here’s the quote:

    Since we can’t keep track of all of [the disinformation]
    here at the White House, we’re asking for your
    help. If you get an email or see something on the web
    about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it

    People being asked to report their friends and neighbors if their e-mails are critical of Obama?!! WTF !!!!????

    And a few weeks ago, the prez said if we already have private insurance we like, we can keep it. 2 days later the White House press secretary said we “shouldn’t take the President’s words literally.”

    I don’t know why anyone believes ANYthing that comes out of the man’s mouth.

    Fascism is coming. And the sheep are too F-ing stupid to notice.

  2. Timmy C permalink
    August 6, 2009 2:26 pm

    One of my general rules sniffing out propaganda videos (of any leaning) is that they don’t include full sentences in their quotes. When you get sentence fragments as “proof” something 99 times out of 100 it’s propaganda and usually bad propaganda.

    This clip is no different. covered this:

    In the clip, Obama said: “But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out …”

    The full transcript from the event shows that Obama was talking about setting up an insurance exchange, much like the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, through which federal employees buy coverage. (The FEHBP site shows that several private insurance companies offer coverage to federal employees; a media representative for the Office of Personnel Management told us there are 269 health plans offered in total – about 10 national Fee-For-Service plans plus HMOs that vary by state.) His eliminating “employer coverage” – not “private” coverage – comment is about people buying insurance through this exchange or “pool” rather than through their jobs so insurance would be portable.

    That had nothing to do with single payer. But the vid made you think it did.

    And yes the snippet from 2003 shows Obama talking up single payer THEN, but for the life of me I can’t find anything more than that one snippet out of context from the speech.

    Politifact tracked down two folks from the event, both single payer fans who say that Barack in 2003 was for single payer, but that his position has modified since.
    (to their chagrin):

    “As I recall, this was his categorical response, that he thinks single-payer is the way to go,” Young said. “Over the years, there’s been ever more edging on his part, to the point where what he has now is a multitiered program, but it ain’t single-payer.”

    Young said the “Jim” Obama refers to in the video is Jim Duffett, director of the Illinois advocacy group Campaign for Better Health Care.

    Duffett said if the entire video were aired, it would show Obama making statements about the need to be practical, much like his later public statements.

    Assuming he had modified his views on single payer’s feasibility since 2003…Everything he’s said for the last 6 years has consistently been along these lines:

    If I were designing a system from scratch, then I’d probably set up a single-payer system…. It doesn’t have to all be government-run, but it’s government-funded. Everybody—Medicare would be an example of a single-payer system, if everybody was in Medicare.

    But the problem is we’re not starting from scratch. We’ve got a system in which most people have become accustomed to getting their health insurance through their employer. And for us to immediately transition from that, and given that a lot of people work for insurance companies, a lot of people work for HMOs—you’ve got a whole system of institutions that have been set up—making that transition in a rapid way, I think, would be very difficult. And people don’t have time to wait. They need relief now.

    So, my attitude is, let’s build off the system that we’ve got. Let’s make it more efficient. We may be, over time, as we make the system more efficient and everybody is covered, decide that there are other ways for us to provide care more effectively.

    His current plan is not a “stealth single payer,” it’s fix what we have now. People need relief from an overpriced broken system now. 40 something million of us need coverage now.

    Save the battle over single payer for after you fix THIS.

    • Duke of Ray permalink
      August 7, 2009 1:08 am

      Well, Tim, as always you come armed to the teeth with data. I still think that even what you quote Obama as saying means that the end game is for Washington to fund (which in reality always = control, despite Pres. Obama’s foolish implication otherwise) all Americans’ health care, which I think would be a disaster in the U.S. Nevertheless, I hate propaganda that takes quotes out of context. The other two people in the video are not taken out of context, but I didn’t vet the Obama clips properly and you make a case. So, therefore I’m suspending the video unless and until further investigation changes my mind.

      The previous video of Frank stays, as it clearly represents his viewpoint and his agenda — which agenda is not insignificant no matter what one believes or disbelieves about Obama’s position, don’t you think?

      Thanks for the challenge.

  3. Timmy C. permalink
    August 7, 2009 9:03 am


    Thanks for the removal of the video, it was pretty misleading…and when you look at what they edited out, it was clearly intentionally so….and it’s to your integrity and credit to pull it down.

    But it’s a good and timely discussion to be had.

    If as you suspect government always wants to be “bigger” I’d suggest that private industry always wants government to be zero (as they don’t want any restraints) and wisdom is found in divining where in between those two extremes the common good is best served.

    To me a good end state would be similar to what we have now with education: everyone in the country is covered, and public and private schools compete…and the competition between those schools keeps both in line and makes both better.

    Insurance plans could work exactly the same way, but in this case flipped to what is now true with schools… in this case with the vast majority of folks in the private insurance camp, and a smaller subgroup voluntarily opting into the public option. And both compete, leading to higher quality, lower costs.

    To me that is a good end state and is all that Obama is recommending. Beyond that single payer is another battle for another day.

    I do agree that the Barney Frank video wasn’t taken out of context though…You listed two possibilities:

    (A) One of Obama’s leading congressional allies has a hidden, contrary agenda to that of his President (who assures us that he doesn’t want to kill private health insurance); OR

    (B) Congressman Frank is articulating the President’s actual agenda, which is contrary to his public one.

    From my view the answer is A. But their belief that transitioning to a single payer solution isn’t “hidden.”

    John Conyers has issued multiple bills (that never made out of committee) for just that. Frank is a co-sponsor of these as he said. For this group, Obama’s plan is way shy of what they think should exist, but many of them are willing to settle for it and not make the good the enemy of the best.

    To Frank’s comment that the public option could “lead” to single payer: Wasn’t his argument that it would only do that if the public option “demonstrated it’s strength and power”?

    In other words: If the public option is as misguided an idea as most conservatives claim, then it would NOT demonstrate such efficacy, and thus not lead to any separate discussions of a future single payer system, no?

    That said: I predict that Obama is not as religious about the “public option” as folks paint him. He wants a feature to lower health care costs and provide competition…if it can be shown that co-ops, or some for of pubic/private super-co-ops can do that, I think you’ll find him more flexible on that than many liberals wish him to be. So far there has been little evidence that a co-op system could really do that. But we’ll see what the senate bill comes up with.

  4. Toayminator permalink
    August 8, 2009 8:21 am

    My take on the whole health care business. Serious question and proposal for Timmy C at the end…

    (1) The idea to take health care people are happy with AWAY from 90 million Americans so that 11 million can have it is sheer lunacy.

    (2) Our system is the best in the world. People from England, Canada, etc.come HERE for their health care. That includes my wife’s family, who sometimes experiences delays in the Canadian system. Weeks for an MRI. Stuff like that.

    (3) The reality is that some people, mostly the younger crowd, early 20’s, don’t WANT health care. They don’t want to pay for it. It may or may not be wise, but it’s their right. In my 20’s I didn’t pay for health care for about4 years. I’m no worse off for it.

    (4) Government is the reason the system is expensive now. Through their constant meddling and telling doctors and insurance companies what they can and cannot do, they’ve made it more inefficient and more expensive. Example, when the gov’t tells doctors they’ll pay 40% (or whatever) of a particular bill, doctors can raise their rates cuz they know the feds are covering part of it.

    (5) Principle. I agree on one level that everyone should have health care. It’s the compassionate, right thing to do. I think that’s where God’s heart is. That said, what gives someone across the county or across town whom I don’t even know the right to DEMAND that I pay for their health care? Whatever happened to freedom and personal responsibility? Forced charity is not charity.

    (6) Which leads to this- why don’t we run health insurance the same way we do car insurance? I haven’t heard anyone suggest this, but I’ve been saying it for years. We all have car insurance, but we all pay for our own gasoline, oil changes, tires, break jobs, etc. We pay for our own basic repairs and maintenance as we go along. Car insurance is only for catastrophes, the big wrecks. Why don’t we do health insurance the same way..??? Someone help me figure this out… If we all paid for our own basic care, and had insurance only for when we got cancer or whatever… that seems to me the most logical solution in the world.

    Sadly, I don’t think that would appeal to either political party, because it reduces their power, and increases personal power.

    Timmy, O always says he’s open to new and better ideas. I’d LOVE to have you present him with my car insurance idea. I mean, THAT could work. Couldn’t it?

  5. Timmy C permalink
    August 9, 2009 2:54 pm


    First: you greatly over-estimate my ability to get things in front of the President…but thanks.


    Totally agree with you that a system that allows everyone to be fairly cared for by doctors would be in keeping with God’s character, who sent Jesus as a Great Physician and compels the faithful to care for the sick, saying “I was sick and you cared for me.”

    I’d also suggest further that the current system is immoral in a few ways. Steve Waldman at Beliefnet nailed it when he wrote:

    –A system is immoral if it allows (or encourages) insurance companies to turn you away exactly when you need help most. (Thanks to exclusions for “pre-existing conditions.”) That’s unfair.

    –A system is immoral if it allows (and incentivizes) insurance companies to write policies full of fine print that leaves shocked patients with devastating bills. That’s dishonest.

    –A system is immoral if it means that losing one’s job means not only losing income but the ability to take your child to the doctor. That’s cruel.

    –A system is immoral if it forces people to stay in jobs that they hate because they don’t want to lose their health coverage. That’s tragic.

    And I agree with your idea that insurance for health should be more like other insurance such as automobile insurance in many ways.

    But one key note: If by “just like car insurance” you mean:

    1. there would be lots clear choices in insurance plans, where individuals can shop between multiple plans and no one (neither patients or doctors) is forced into any one plan…

    2. that competition and the fact that everyone is covered between would push down runaway costs…

    3. your insurance wouldn’t be tied to your employer, so as you switch jobs, that doesn’t effect your insurance…

    and add:

    3. you can’t be forbidden insurance due to pre-existing conditions, or have your lifetime coverage capped because of them…

    …Then THAT does describe the current 2 bills agreed to in the House, and rumored to be what the Senate would come up with.


    Now “just like car insurance does” the plans do include an individual mandate that everyone must buy this insurance. (something like 48 or 49 states legally require individuals to buy car insurance) so when you pay your taxes you would also show proof of insurance.

    But if you were a true libertarian who didn’t want to be forced to have insurance, you could pay a fee instead. This fee would go to help cover the costs that these uninsured folks incur when they go to emergency rooms without insurance, etc…

    Why have a mandate for individuals? There is an estimated cost of $1,100 per year or more that you and I and every other insured person pay for the uninsured to cover their visits to emergency rooms, etc… To make the system work for everybody you have to require everybody in, or if they don’t want to, they need to pay a fee to cover their costs they are responsible for that flow over to everyone else.

    The controversial bits that aren’t settled yet in Congress:

    1. Would real competition would include a private insurance via Public Option, or Private Co-op, or some Super-Co-op?

    The argument is that a public option would allow the government to compete using pricing of something like something like Medicare rates, which would force the other private companies to compete on price. The Public Insurance plan would not be so advantaged as to drive Private insurers out of business, but enough to keep them honest.

    Perhaps a Co-opt could do something similar and not require the Republican anathema of a government run org, but so far no great arguments on how a co-opt would really offer such competition.

    2. Employer Mandate — the Health reform bills may or may not require business or cover all employees or pay a small fee per non-covered employee. (But if enacted would exempt small businesses with payrolls under a half million)

    3. Government Help for the Poor: For those at 400% below the poverty line: the Government would offer credits for the very lowest most basic coverage available

    My bet: we end up with either a super-coop or a relatively weakened public option. Perhaps a weakened employer mandate, and something close to the coverage for the poor.

    But even then (assuming I’m correct) it would be an AMAZING step forward in reform of what was a deeply broken system literally killing working Americans — literally and figuratively — needlessly.

    So what Obama may achieve is actually very much like your suggestion Mike.

  6. Timmy C. permalink
    August 10, 2009 2:01 pm

    More grist for the mill. You (Duke, Count or Toay) may be suspicious of the President when he makes such statements, but this is pretty categorical denial of single payer for the US, spoken while standing next to the Canadian prime minster today:

    I’ve said that the Canadian model works for Canada; it would not work for the United States — in part simply because we’ve evolved differently. We have a employer-based system and a private-based health care system that stands side by side with Medicare and Medicaid and our Veterans Administration health care system. And so we’ve got to develop a uniquely American approach to this problem…

    And so what we’re trying to do is make sure that we’ve got a sensible plan that provides coverage for everybody; that continues the role of the private marketplace, but provides people who don’t have health insurance or have fallen through the cracks in the private marketplace a realistic and meaningful option. And we’ve got to do it in a way that also changes our delivery system so that we’re not engaged in the kind of wasteful, inefficient medical spending that is so costly to us.

    So I suspect that we’re going to have continued vigorous debate. I suspect that you Canadians will continue to get dragged in by those who oppose reform, even though I’ve said nothing about Canadian health care reform.

    I don’t find Canadians particularly scary, but I guess some of the opponents of reform think that they make a good boogeyman. I think that’s a mistake.

    And I suspect that once we get into the fall and people look at the actual legislation that’s being proposed, that more sensible and reasoned arguments will emerge, and we’re going to get this passed.

  7. August 10, 2009 11:21 pm

    My comments at the top of the post- reinstated.

  8. reformislam permalink
    August 11, 2009 12:48 am

    MASH, Pamela Geller, Internet Snitch Brigade (, and Anti-American Activities

    On August 4, 2009 a post titled “Facts Are Stubborn Things” appeared on the White House blog. It contained the following paragraph:

    There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to

    Every Fourth of July, we celebrate the Birth of the Nation. Every Fourth of August, we shall celebrate the Birth of the Internet Snitch Brigade.

    How long do you think it took before the Internet Snitch Brigade expanded its reporting from something fishy about health insurance reform to Anti-American Activities? Just five days! Move over McCarthy; here comes Bill Warner. In the post titled “ASSASSINATE BARACK OBAMA PLOTS INCREASE TO 10 RACIST RIGHT WING BLOGGERS FUEL WHITE SUPREMISTS (sic.) SECRET SERVICE SHUT EM DOWN by Bill Warner investigator” Bill Warner writes:

    Articles posted on ultra right wings blogs like “Muslims Against Sharia” by Khamim Massoud such as Obama spies monitoring Jews house-to-house and Freed to Kill More American Soldiers: Taliban Thrives, Thanks to Obama Policy and “Atlas Shrugs Website” by Pamela Geller who posts articles such as “Obama backs Iraqi Terrorists: Iraq investigates alleged US-insurgent talks” are hastening the demise of Preisdent Barack Obama. … The US Secret Service so needs to investigate “Muslims Against Sharia by Khalim Massoud and Pamela Geller for her Anti-American racist activities on her website, which she operates out of her Manhattan NY apartment, and her incitement to hate by others and the possible murder of President Barack Obama.

    Yes, it only took five days to jump from snitching about dissent on health insurance reform to making up wild accusations about “incitement to hate by others and the possible murder of President Barack Obama.” A quote attributed to Joseph Goebbels, a Propaganda Minister in Nazi Germany reads:

    If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

    Bill Warner may not be a good P.I. (as he claims to be) or not a good bar fighter and martial artist (as he claims to be), but he certainly mastered the art of Nazi propaganda.

  9. Toayminator permalink
    August 25, 2009 9:25 am

    Liberals always think the problem with Socialism is that they just haven’t had the right people running it. They completely discount human nature.

    Bottom line here- the libs are about increasing their POWER. And they are lying about what will happen with state controlled health care.

    To whit:

    Oregon’s state-run health care plan won’t cover a new drug that could extend her life — which is, after all, the entire point of health insurance and health care — but will gladly pay the bill if she decides to stop costing the state more money.

    This was entirely predictable. When the state assumes the cost for the personal and private functions of its citizens, the private and personal become public, and the limits of government disappear.

    You want to extend your life an extra couple of years? Sorry. You can’t generate enough revenue to cover the cost of treatment, so the state won’t allow it. If you’d be so kind as to drop dead now, though, that will save some money for some twisted lib-tard’s sex-change operation.

    In this case, fortunately, Wagner got rescued from her own state government. Who played the hero? The EVIL pharmaceutical company that produces the drug she needs. They gave it to her for free out of disgust.

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