Democrat Health Care 'Retreat' Is Phony

Democrats claim to be retreating from the "public option" for government health care. But make no mistake, their new plan for a publicly funded health care "co-op" is a new name for the same bad ideas.

The Sunday papers announced that the White House is going to “retreat” on the so-called “public option” — i.e., a government health care option to compete with the private insurers.

Instead, they are getting bipartisan support for establishing a publicly funded healthcare “co-op.”

But this is no “retreat.” The co-op arrangement is simply the public option by another name, and by a more circuitous, stealthy route — with the same ultimate objective: nationalized health care.

Understand that the “co-op” would be funded by the government (i.e., the taxpayers). More importantly, to get admission into the co-op, insurers would have to abide by the new governmental regulations regarding coverage, treatments, premiums, etc.

Ah, but this still would be “private,” right? Not according to Health and Human Services Sec. Nancy Sebelius. Here is the “money quote” from her, which gives away the White House’s game:

“I think there will be a competitor to private insurers,” Sebelius said. “That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing.”

Make no mistake, then: This is no liberal “retreat” from governmental health care. The new “co-op” is explicitly intended to be “a competitor to private insurers.” While ObamaCare would inject this new government entity into the healthcare marketplace, it simultaneously would:
1. Impose onerous, costly new mandates on private insurers

2. Mandate participation by unwilling individuals and small businesses, under penalty of whopping fines

3. Outlaw any private insurers that refused to adopt the new government-imposed rules

4. Compel taxpayers to fund the arrangement
Eventually, inevitably, the only private insurers that could survive this arrangement would have to operate like branch offices of the Medicare program — simply administering government “mandated” coverage, services, treatments, medicines, etc.

Rather than “single payer” socialized medicine, then, this would be more like fascist medicine: a merely nominal “private” system, in which a handful of big health care insurers and providers took their marching orders from the federal government.

Adding an 800-pound governmental gorilla into the health care marketplace, under any name, is still a net, enormous loss of your health care freedom and choice — not a gain. We need to stop this fraud in its tracks. Contact your congressman and spread these facts far and wide.

Robert James Bidinotto of is an award-winning writer, editor, and lecturer. From July 2005 to October 2008 he was editor-in-chief of The New Individualist, the monthly magazine published by The Atlas Society. He currently resides with his wife on the Chesapeake Bay.

14 comments from readers  

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This would be, what, the third name-change for this power grab?

Obama has stated, for years, that he was willing to obtain socialized medicine in steps and via smiling "masks" (his word), AKA lies.

Hopefully, no member of AtlasSphere will trust ANY "reform" coming from Obama, Reid, or Pelosi.
If you would like to see Objectivists and Libertarians be more 'activist' oriented and be one yourself; then one way is to email this article to everyone you possibly can. Quickly. It is succinct, accurate and comprehensive; and above all moral.
Exactly right Robert.

It also remains a system to force healthy and young people to pay much higher premiums to cover the high costs of the old and the unhealthy. The assessment of risks which should be considered in any insurance becomes much less specific. The young who do not now want insurance at the present low prices will surely rebel when they are forced to buy it at much higher prices. These are the same young who will inevitably be taxed more heavily soon to pay for the Baby Boomers' retirements on the underfunded Social Security and for their increasing medical costs on Medicare. They will also have to pick up the tab for the additional people eligible for Medicaid. This is quite a deal for the young people, too many of whom voted for Obama and the Democrats in the last election.
Well and succinctly said! This is no "retreat," merely a regrouping.

Beware also of Republican "compromise plans" offered in response to misguided calls for phony bipartisanship. The best National Health Care Plan is Doctors and patients interacting in a free market.
Concise analysis of how the white house "marketing word game" works and people are fooled by it ! Nothing new ! People of this country voted for a "change" and here it comes !
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Constructive criticism requires that you provide an alternative plan, or at least an outline of a better approach. What would you do to reduce the growth rate in health care costs? What about the 47 million Americans with no insurance? Would you let them wither and die on the vine? Do you know that the U.S. ranks #1 in the world in adult obesity, in teen pregnancies, in mental health issues, in infant mortatlity, in homicides, in imprisonment, in drug and alcohol abuse, and we're 18th down the list in life expectancy? These are recent findngs from epidemiologists who analyzed world data. Would you encourage everyone to also contact their congressman and spread these facts far and wide?
Mr. Bidinotto: Greetings, a new name added to Atlasphere. Of course you are correct. Have you noticed it no longer has a moral tone, to help the poor and disenfranchised, but a strictly political tone, socialize Medicine in order to take control of the means of production of wealth. Can you tell me what motivates so called Americans to burn down the greatest, most free nation that ever existed on earth? Certainly it is not Freedom, that is anathema to them. They are all Mugabes and Castros, and Maos and Stalins. Power corrupts and great power corrupts greatly. There can be no logical, moral justification for doing what they are planning to do, come hell or high water. The American People carried him into the White House on their shoulders because of his color, and for no other reason. They are having second thoughts about that now, but it may be too late. Frank Toplin.
The Founding Fathers were geniuses, but they left out something the Constitution needs more than ever: a means to recall Senators and Representatives before their terms expire and before they can inflict foreseeable damage upon us.

I was just reading on another web site about an ophthalmologist in Atlanta who submits forms to Medicare for payment on a particularly critical procedure to prevent blindness in newborns. He also set up or linked up with a private foundation to support this work because the delays with Medicare are so lengthy, most of these infants would be irreversibly blinded long before Medicare would approve the surgery.

Obama is said to have compared his proposed Federal Insurance plan to the Post Office, competing with UPS and FedEx. Just as the Post Office announced its annual deficit and plans to end Saturday delivery. He was being accurate, if not necessarily honest.

Delivering the mail is a relatively simple job compared to brain or eye surgery. Who will invest the years of study and training it takes to be a neurosurgeon, if in the end he is to be the slave of some affirmative-action desk jockey with an honorary GED?
Thank you Bob, for placing the government health care plans in their politicalLY appropriate category: FASCIST!
This cohesive message needs to make it's way repeatedly to elected officials via their constituancy. Redundancy would be a plus! Sent, or told especially to the bluedogs, dems in unsafe seats, and the usual-suspect traitor repubs. Most of them have no imagination anyway. It's like training a dog...and it seems to work just as well. Since we're presently mobilized, the hardest work is done.
Virgil said, "Health is the greatest wealth". Since abandoning the gold standard, everything else is now a substitute for saving wealth. Be it housing, sneakers, flat screen TVs or health, they're all supposed to somehow last longer than gold. Health's the lynch pin of the progressive liberal's demand for security at the expense of freedom. This lends governmet health care an extra powerful weapon. Who doesn't want to be healthy? Why would the elders even consider giving up their health care entitlements at their age? How could a whole new generation of young misguided taxpayers be expected to understand constitutional rights regarding health care? What about the hidden agenda of population control? None are a healthy proposition.

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek states in the chapter Security and Freedom, "Indeed, when security is understood in too absolute a sense, the general striving for it, far from increasing the chances of freedom, becomes the gravest threat to it". Hayek ends the chapter with Benjamin Franklin's famous quote, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchse a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety".

I'm still uninsured. As a freelancer, I've been dropped through the cracks many times in the health care shell game. Baffled by the extraordinary costs of health care itself and the high costs of insurance, I just can't get a straight answer. The real problem is the politics. I've been healthy until now, but that's just luck. And my being very careful.

Co-Op Health care multiplied by security = serfdom

Andy George
Thank you for your usual incisive dissection of the horrifying "health care" monster. My congresswoman, Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords, has deflected every one of my letters to her. Form letter responses, no doubt, with a key word reference. She doesn't represent me in any way whatsoever. When you consider that my Senators are McCain and Kyl, you will understand my desperation.
Who will lead? Where are the people with sacred honor?
Diane Viewing
Excellent commentary, Bob. I've actually read much of the 1018-page House bill, and the problem (the crime!) isn't the "public option" or the "co-op" quasi-public option -- it's everything else in the bill! In my blog post quoting you, I concluded:

"With or without a public option, with or without a co-op, with or without whatever other fillips they come up with or sops to squishy Republicans they propose, the Democrats' plan to "reform" health care will be an abomination, a monstrosity, an unmitigated evil that a free people cannot tolerate and must stop."

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"ObamaCare at the speed of Postal Service"... NOT for me!

"When the pain absolutely, positively must stop next week!"

Not for me! Keep it private.
To post comments, please log in first. The Atlasphere is a social networking site for admirers of Ayn Rand's novels, most notably The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In addition to our online magazine, we offer a member directory and a dating service. If you share our enjoyment of Ayn Rand's novels, please sign up or log in to post comments.