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 EcoNOT.com 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.