Steve Benen, at Washington Monthly, suggests that the enthusiastic and open embrace by some single-payer advocates of the “Medicare buy-in” idea floated by Harry Reid, as a device to obtain a single-payer system, may have scared Joe Lieberman away from the idea.
Benen laments that such advocates were so open in their embrace:
Occasionally, there’s something to be said for keeping one’s cards a little closer to the vest.
At least Benen is honest about it.
The Medicare buy-in was just another of the devices to be implanted into the restructured health care system not on its own merits, but as the foot in the doorway. Once opened, that door would have be pushed ever more open until one day we had a single-payer system without anyone ever having voted for a single-payer system. The “public option” was the same deception under a different name.
Now that the Medicare buy-in and public option look like they will not be in a final Senate bill, do not think the deception is over.
The expansion of Medicaid, the extension of subsidies to families earning substantial five-figure incomes, and the host of other provisions which remain in the bill, all are part of the push toward a single-payer system. That is why the Obama administration will accept any plan which effectuates federal government control over the entire health care system. The details can be changed later on, so long as the door keeps opening.
At least we should call the Democratic proposals what they are: A Deception.
Update: Some more honesty about the Senate bill without a Medicare buy-in or public option:
If Barack Obama signs it into law, he’ll go down as the president with the most progressive legislative accomplishments since Lyndon Johnson. You’ll say that the American welfare state was inaugurated by FDR, substantially expanded by Johnson, and given its final shape by Obama.
And some more:
Disappointed progressives may be wondering whether their efforts were a waste. They most decidedly were not. The campaign for the public option pushed the entire debate to the left–and, to use a military metaphor, it diverted enemy fire away from the rest of the bill.
And here’s how badly Obama wants a bill passed; he’d throw 10,000 Nebraskans out of work to get it:
According to a Senate aide, the White House is now threatening to put Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base on the BRAC list if [Nebraska Senator Ben] Nelson doesn’t fall into line.
Offutt Air Force Base employs some 10,000 military and federal employees in Southeastern Nebraska. As our source put it, this is a “naked effort by Rahm Emanuel and the White House to extort Nelson’s vote.” They are “threatening to close a base vital to national security for what?” asked the Senate staffer.