PLEASE read this, it is VERY!!!! SCARY!!!

 

PLEASE read this, it is VERY!!!! SCARY!!! 
 
 Pamela “Atlas” Geller began her publishing career at The New York Daily News and subsequently took over operation of The New York Observer as Associate Publisher.  She left The Observer after the birth of her fourth child, but remained involved in various projects including American Associates, Ben Gurion University and being Senior Vice-President Strategic Planning and Performance Evaluation at The Brandeis School.
 

After 9/11, “Atlas” had the veil of oblivion violently lifted from her consciousness and immersed herself in the education and understanding of geopolitics, Islam, terror, foreign affairs and imminent threats the mainstream media and the government wouldn’t cover or discuss.  To wit:  

I am a student of history.  Professionally, I have written 15 books in six languages, and have studied history all my life.  I think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is just a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis.  Yes, these exist but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus. 

 

Something of historic proportions is happening.  I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it..  Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about 10 – 15 years.  The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two. 

 

We demanded and then codified into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people whom we knew could never pay back?  Why?  We learned recently that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has “loaned” two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms.  That is our money. Yours and mine.  And that is three times the $700B we all argued about so strenuously just this past September

 

Who has this money?  Why do they have it?  Why are the terms unavailable to us?  Who asked for it?  Who authorized it?  I thought this was a government of “We the People,” who loaned our powers to our elected leaders.  Apparently not. 

 

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy Why? 

 

We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving.  Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate.  Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, school boards continue to back mediocrity.  Why? 

 

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (now violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it wants marriage to remain between one man and one woman.  Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?).  We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic.  To what purpose? 

 

Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, Social Security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government.  Our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and know precisely what I am talking about.)  The list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth.  It is potentially 1929 x 10.   And we are at war with an enemy we cannot name for fear of offending people of the same religion who cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so. 

 

And now we have elected a man no one knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla , Alaska .  All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary (Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders?  No?  Oh, of course.  The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it.  Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter and $150,000 wardrobe is more important.) 

 

Mr. Obama’s winning platform can be boiled down to one word:  Change…radical change.  Why? 

 

I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now.  This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life.  In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure.  Change is indeed coming.  And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again. 

 

And that is only the beginning. 

 

I thought I would never be able to experience what the ordinary, moral German felt in the mid-1930s.  In those times, the savior was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing.  What they did know was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory and promises.  Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker.  And he smiled and waved a lot.  And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his “brown shirts” would bully them into submission. 

 

And then he was duly elected to office, with a full-throttled economic crisis at hand [the Great Depression].  Slowly but surely he seized the controls of government power, department by department, person by person, bureaucracy by bureaucracy.  The kids joined a Youth Movement in his name, where they were taught what to think.  How did he get the people on his side?  He did it promising jobs to the jobless, money to the moneyless, and goodies for the military-industrial complex.  He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe , and across the world. 

 

He did it with a compliant media – Did you know that?  And he did this all in the name of justice and…change.  And the people surely got what they voted for.  (Look it up if you think I am exaggerating.)  Read your history books.  Many people objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and made fun of.  When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker.  He was right, though. 

 

Don’t forget that Germany was the most educated, cultured country in Europe .  It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities.  And in less than six years – a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency – it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors.  All with the best of intentions, of course.  The road to Hell is paved with them. 

 

As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice:  I can either believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust); I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades; or I can hope I am wrong, close my eyes, have another latte and ignore what is transpiring around me. 

 

Some people scoff at me; others laugh or think I am foolish, naive, or both.  Perhaps I am.  But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe – and why I believe it.  I pray I am wrong.  But, I do not think I am. 

*************************************************************** 
Since many of you enjoy senior citizen status or will sometime in the not too distant future, I thought you might be interested in this information. 

 

IN GOD WE TRUST 

Everybody that is on this mailing list is either a senior citizen, is getting close, or knows somebody that is. 

 

Most of you know by now that the Senate version (at least) of the “stimulus” bill includes provisions for extensive rationing of health care for senior citizens.  The author of this part of the bill, former senator and tax evader, Tom Daschle, was credited today by Bloomberg with the following statement. 

 

Bloomberg:  “Daschle says health-care reform will not be pain free. Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.” 

 

If this does not sufficiently raise your ire, just remember that Senators and Congressmen have their own healthcare plan that is first dollar or very low co-pay which they are guaranteed the remainder of their lives and are not subject to this new law if it passes. 

 

Please use the power of the Internet to get this message out.  Talk it up at the grassroots level.  We have an election coming up in one year and four months.  We have the ability to address and reverse the dangerous direction the Obama administration and its allies have begun and in the interim, we can make our voices heard!  Let’s do it! 

If you disagree, don’t do anything.
 
 
 

How Obamacare’s mandated pg 91 line 4-7 “translation services” can spark a Second Civil War

How Obamacare’s mandated pg 91 line 4-7 “translation services” can spark a Second Civil War

August 17th, 2009

By Kevin “Coach” Collins


“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

This is the simple but powerful text of the 10th Amendment to our Constitution.

The first impression a reading of Obamacare’s scheme brings to mind are the many blatant violations of the 10th Amendment it contains.

One such violation is the demand that ALL medical service providers and facilities be compelled to include on staff translators able to render “language-appropriate services” in potentially hundred of languages.

Page 91 lines 4 – 7 essentially demands any medical services provider to have translators available to communicate with non English speakers in their own language either by telephone or in person. This is a disaster in waiting.

New York City’s welfare department provides a look at what Obamacare’s “language-appropriate services” means. In 2003 the City agreed to use taxpayers’ money to cover “translation services” for six languages. That’s grown to 21 and New York is being sued for not covering Soninke a Nigerian language. Already NYC just one locality provides 7000 translations yearly!

Civil War in Court.The Census Bureau recognizes 337 languages spoken or signed in America. There are thirty states with “English Only” laws meaning Obamacare violently collides with States’ 10th Amendment rights.

Read More:

White House Disables Snitch Program After Massive Outcry

White House Disables Snitch Program After Massive Outcry

August 17th, 2009 Posted By Erik Wong.

obama_bigbro

POLITICO:

Following a furor over how the data would be used, the White House has shut down an electronic tip box — flag@whitehouse.gov — that was set up to receive information on “fishy” claims about President Barack Obama’s health plan.

E-mails to that address now bounce back with the message: “The e-mail address you just sent a message to is no longer in service. We are now accepting your feedback about health insurance reform via http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck.”

The “flag” service was introduced Aug. 4, with a White House blog post saying: “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 flag@whitehouse.gov.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said at a briefing shortly after the service launched: “We’re not collecting names from those e-mails. … All we’re asking people to do is if they’re confused about what health care reform is going to mean to them, we’re happy to help clear that up for you. Nobody is keeping anybody’s names.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote a letter to Obama raising privacy concerns about what the senator called an “Obama monitoring program.”

“I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward e-mails critical of his policies to the White House,” Cornyn wrote. “So I urge you to cease this program immediately.”

In a later statement, Cornyn said: “Of course the White House is collecting names. … It is inevitable. Anyone with access to the flag@whitehouse.gov account has access to the names and email addresses that are collected in that account. … How are they purging names and e-mail addresses from this account to protect privacy?”

stop-snitching

The Team Obama “misspoke”-o-meter

The Team Obama “misspoke”-o-meter

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 17, 2009 11:49 PM

Reader Frank e-mails: “Can you please find out how many times the current White House has used “misspoke?”

Ask and ye shall receive! Feel free to add your own examples in comments below or e-mail them to writemalkin@gmail.com with “misspoke”-o-meter in the subject line. I’ll keep a running tally. These are just four of the most prominent cases in the last three months:

1) Administration Official: “Sebelius Misspoke.”

2) White House: Obama ‘Misspoke’ About Claim of AARP Endorsement

3) White House concedes Sonia Sotomayor misspoke in 2001

4) They call it “walking back.” “White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Wednesday said he had misspoken in calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Iran’s ‘elected leader’ and that Washington will let the Iranian people decide whether Iran’s election was fair,” Reuters reports.

ObamaCare and Hidden Agendas

ObamaCare and Hidden Agendas

By Randall Hoven

President Obama gives us a false choice on health care: his way or the status quo.  Nobody wants the status quo, and Republicans have real alternatives.  The real choice is whether we have a single-payer, government run health care system.

“The health care system in America is broken.  Costs are rising at an unacceptable rate – more than doubling over the last 10 years, which is nearly four times the rate of wage growth.  Too many patients feel trapped by healthcare decisions dictated by HMOs.  Too many doctors are torn between practicing medicine and practicing insurance.  And 47 million Americans worry what will happen to them or their children if they get sick.”

 

Who do you think said that?  President Obama?  Actually, those words were written by Republicans.  They are part of the summary of the Patients’ Choice Act (H.R. 2520) introduced this May by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in the House and by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) in the Senate (S. 1099).  

 

To hear it from President Obama, the choice is simple: his plan or the status quo.  He is wrong on both counts: he has no plan, and the Republicans do.  In fact, Republicans have introduced meaningful health care reform for years.

 

In the 1990s, Republicans tried to change Medicare into a defined-contribution model, more along the lines of the plan that federal employees enjoy.  The Republican-controlled Congress passed such legislation in 1995, but President Clinton vetoed it.  Seeing the future impacts of Medicare costs, President Clinton set up a bipartisan Medicare Commission headed by John Breaux (D-LA).  The Breaux Commission came up with a similar plan in 1999.  Democrats killed that too.

 

When Republicans did have everything but a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, 2003-06, they gave us Health Savings Accounts and prescription coverage under Medicare (although I was against the latter).  Given Democrats were not shy about using the filibuster, those were significant achievements.

 

More recently, Republican precursors to the Patients’ Choice Act were introduced in the House in July 2007, May 2008 and September 2008.  All died in the Democrat-controlled House.  There is also the Health Care Freedom Act (S. 1324) introduced in the Senate this June by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). 

 

Regarding President Obama’s plan: he doesn’t have one.  The plan everyone is debating in town halls is the Affordable Health Choices Act (H.R. 3200) introduced in the House by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI).  This is “Obama’s plan” only in the sense that it has a “public option” in it, something Obama insists on.  (Therefore called “ObamaCare” herein.)

 

The Congressional Budget Office defines the problem:

 

“The federal budget is on an unsustainable path, primarily because of rapidly rising spending on health care… Medicare’s Part A trust fund… will have insufficient funds to pay for all covered services starting in 2017.”

 

The word “affordable” is part of Obamacare’s real title.  President Obama sold it (at least originally) as a cost-cutting move. 

 

Well, the CBO did a cost analysis of Obamacare and estimated it would cost $1 trillion over the next 10 years and insure an extra 16 million people (of about 50 million estimated to be uninsured).  That’s right, one trillion dollars to insure an extra 5% of the population.

 

On its very face, Obamacare fails ignominiously.  Its reason for being was to save money, but it will cost a trillion dollars!  And even after 10 years, it will cover only a third of the uninsured.  (The math works out to $6,250 per additional person insured, or six times more than the HSA-qualified plan I have now.)

 

Jim DeMint’s Health Care Freedom Act is estimated to insure an extra 22.4 million people, at no net cost to the government.  Also, tort reform alone could save perhaps $200 B per year or more according to a Pacific Research Institute study.  If it really saves only half that, or one trillion dollars over 10 years, it would save as much as Obamacare would cost.

 

Ready for your multiple-choice test?

 

(a) Do nothing, for zero extra cost and 85% of the population insured.

 

(b) Obamacare, for a cost of one trillion dollars and 90% insured in 2020.

 

(c) A Republican plan, for no tax increases or new government spending, lower overall costs, and 92% or more insured in 2015.

 

If you bother to read Obamacare, things only get worse.  First, it is 1,017 pages.  (The Patients’ Choice Act is 248 pages.  DeMint’s plan is 82 pages.  The Social Security Act of 1935 fits on 31 pages.)  And those pages describe a bloody nightmare of interconnected organizations with ambiguous responsibilities and rules.

 

This legislation will have to be interpreted by bureaucrats and judges, and what they come up with will be a crapshoot.  For all we know, or can know, the government might very well deny an expensive anti-cancer drug to a “futile” patient in 10 years, but offer her a nice, affordable, suicide pill.  Obama can give us his word that that won’t happen, but the words that count are the ones in those 1,017 pages and how bureaucrats will interpret them years after Obama is out of office.

 

What is really going on?  Simple.  The choice is not between Obamacare and the status quo.  Neither side likes the status quo, and Republicans have real alternatives.  But what the two sides want are completely opposite things.  Republicans want to move toward free markets and individual ownership, and Democrats want to move to single-payer and, well, socialism.

 

There, I used the s-word.  I do not do so lightly.  Recall that the critical piece of ObamaCare is the “public option.”  Since I brought up the s-word, let’s go to the horse’s mouth on that: Sam Webb, National Chair of the Communist Party USA this June. 

 

“In this legislative session, we can envision winning a Medicare-like public option and then going further in the years ahead… socialism is our objective… The core of this struggle, whether we like it or not, turns on the inclusion of a public option in a health care bill.”

 

To make this point even more clear, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) is on video answering the question, “why not single-payer now?”  “Because we don’t have the votes for it.  I wish we did.  I think if we get a good public option, it could lead to single-payer and that’s the best way to reach single-payer.”

 

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) is also on video.  “Next to me was a guy from the insurance company, who then argued… that a public option will put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer.  My single-payer friends, he was right.  The man was right!”

 

Barack Obama was also recorded in 2003 saying, “I happen to be a proponent of the single-payer universal health care plan.  But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately.”

 

There is really no fuzz on this.  The “public option” is the pre-meditated stepping-stone to single-payer, and what the Communist Party admits is “the core of this struggle.”

 

I, as a conservative/libertarian, have argued for universal coverage in the American Thinker well before this current debate.   We can get more than 85% of us covered without a single-payer system, as have multiple countries from Australia to Switzerland and Japan.  And we can cut costs and reduce government intrusion in a multitude of ways, from tort reform and reduced insurance mandates to regulatory and tax changes.  And Republicans have proposed specific legislation to do that.

 

But this is not about universal coverage.  The real battle is over single-payer, government-run health care.

 

Why isn’t this debated in the open?  Why obfuscate the agenda with a “public option” and 1,000 pages of confusion and ambiguity?  Because, as Barney Frank said, they don’t have the votes.  So instead, they have a hidden agenda, one that coincides with the Communist Party’s agenda.

 

As Rep. Schakowsky said, “This is not a principled fight.  This is a fight about strategy for getting there [single-payer].”

 

This is a fight all right.  How about we bring principles to this unprincipled fight?  We don’t ask for much.  Just a bill that does what it’s supposed to (cut costs) and doesn’t do what it’s not supposed to (socialize one fifth of the economy).

 

Randall Hoven can be contacted via his web site, kulak.worldbreak.com.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/obamacare_and_hidden_agendas.html at August 18, 2009 – 09:09:09 AM EDT

Obama’s State Department Submits to Islam

Obama’s State Department Submits to Islam

By Pamela Geller

Here is but the latest act of submission to Islam by your State Department. A State Department cable has just been sent out with this announcement:

 

The Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) has assembled a range of innovative and traditional tools to support Posts’ outreach activities during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

 

Here, in contrast, is the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

The State Department’s Ramadan programs are wide-ranging. “On August 10,” the cable continues, “America.gov will publish a ‘Multicultural Ramadan’ feature. American Muslims trace their ancestry to more than 80 countries and the feature will highlight the richness of these various cultural traditions through the lens of Ramadan and Eid. Content will include essays by young Muslims who are part of Eboo Patel’s Interfaith Youth Core (IYC). Contact: Alexandra Abboud (AbboudAM@state.gov).”

 

There’s more! The Bureau of International Information Programs “will publish three articles for Ramadan 2009 addressing the concept of an Islam in America ‘brand’; advocacy (civic and political) of the Muslim American community; and community innovation/community building. The writer will contact Muslim American experts in each of these fields. These articles will be available on America.gov in English, Arabic, and Persian.”

 

The main publication is Being Muslim In America: “Conceived as IIP’s flagship print publication on the rich and varied experiences of the nation’s growing Muslim population, this lavishly illustrated new book links the Muslim-American experience to those of other American racial, religious, and immigrant groups as they moved into the American ‘mainstream.'”

 

Can you imagine every Embassy and consulate putting up a Menorah and having some Rabbis as speakers via a webcast?

 

Can you imagine if we had the Stations of the Cross put on the walls of all of our embassies, consulates, and other posts, as well as the many Department of State buildings across the country, including C Street? 

 

Why aren’t priests, pastors, etc. invited during Christmas to give blessings or talk about Christianity in the United States?

 

Can you imagine if the Buddha were revered and we had some monks coming to do a meditation session with all of the officers of each embassy, consulate, etc.?

 

Can we get printed and distributed Hare Krishna posters for all of our posts, so as to reach massive audiences?

 

I mean, put it in reverse and see how crazy it is. Absolutely nuts.

 

Perhaps this is an initiative of President Barack Obama’s newly created Office for Outreach to the Ummah at State. In June Obama had the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, at the White House. Ihsanoglu urged Obama to appoint a U.S. ambassador to the Islamic world – and Obama immediately created a new State Department Office for Muslim Outreach, with a Muslim woman, Farah Pandith, serving as the new U.S. Special Representative for Muslim Outreach. In keeping with Obama’s U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project, a charter of dhimmitude, we are to be conditioned to respect Muslim immigrants and accept their culture.

 

Obama appears to be more than comfortable with this deal with the devil as he abets the institution of an Islamo-Christian ethic, which would destroy the very foundation of this great country. Never mind that Muslims persecute Christians in every country they finally dominate. That is of no importance.

 

Why is this immense effort necessary? We act as if we were a slave of the Muslim world. This sickness of licking the boots of an ideology that wants to destroy us is incomprehensible.

 

Burt Prelutsky said it best:

 

“What is wrong with our leaders? Are they worried that they won’t be invited to those cool Ramadan parties? The Islamists have been actively at war with us for 30 years and generally at war with western civilization for well over a thousand years, and still we pay lip service to these people in a way we never did with Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan or the Soviet Union. Is it because the Muslims commit sadism and murder in the name of religion and not country? If anything, I would think that would make their evil acts all the more contemptible.”

 

It does.

 

Pamela Geller is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs Web site and former associate publisher of the New York Observer.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/obamas_state_department_submit.html at August 18, 2009 – 09:06:38 AM EDT

Failure is an Option

Failure is an Option
By: Jacob Laksin
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

 


The White House’s plan for a government-run public insurance option goes down in defeat.

In intensive care and unlikely to survive: That’s as good description as any of the terminal state in which one of the Obama administration’s signature health reform proposals now finds itself.

 

As recently as this June, President Obama insisted that a government-run insurance program, the so-called “public option,” was a core component of his plan to overhaul American health care. But with public support plummeting for the president’s stewardship of the health care issue, town halls across the country abuzz with an energized grassroots opposition, and even some Democrats expressing qualms about the public option, the administration has been forced to fall back from its position that health insurance must become the latest in the growing list of the federal government’s responsibilities.

 

The first sign that the administration was in retreat came this Saturday. While touting his health care reform in Grand Junction, Colorado, President Obama sounded a diffident note, asserting that the “public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health-care reform” but “just one sliver of it.” In the context of his earlier statement, this June, that “Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans,” the president’s new stance seemed to signal a faltering commitment to the government-run plan. That impression was reinforced the next day, when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNN that the public option “is not the essential element” of president’s health care plan.

 

The administration’s concession is not entirely voluntary. A dizzying succession of polls – including last week’s Marist poll, which found that some 45 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of health care, including a swelling swath of independent voters – suggest that the president has lost traction on the make-or-break issue of his first term. The same message has been sent by the now-famous health care town halls across the country, which threaten to do for ObamaCare what this spring’s Tea Parties did for the administration’s economic stimulus package: ignite a genuine and broad-based political movement that drags down the president’s once-unassailable appeal and creates electoral problems for his Democratic allies in Congress.

 

By no intent on the administration’s part, the public option became the catalyst for this civic insurgency. Yet that was not completely unexpected: For many critics, the government-run insurance program represents the worst of the policies floating around Washington as the prospect of health care reform looms – a fundamentally bad idea that could set the stage for worse to come.

 

Not the least of the public option’s flaws is conceptual: Simply, it would do the opposite of what the administration has promised – namely, foster competition among private insurers and create a more affordable insurance market for Americans. As many health care experts have noted, the actual effect of a public plan would be to crowd out private insurers, stifle competition, and force more Americans into a government-run plan. With taxpayer funds at its disposal, a government program would be able to operate at a loss – a luxury unavailable to private insurers, who would have to increase premiums to compete or else go out of business.

 

Bolstering these concerns, a July analysis of the public option plan in the House health care bill (the American Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009), by the Lewin Group, found that nearly 104 million Americans would end up in the government plan if some version of the legislation were passed, while 83 million would lose private coverage. For the millions who ultimately would have to give up coverage under the government plan, the public option would be anything but optional.

 

Yet another concern was that the public option was merely the tip of a more massive – and radical – legislative iceberg: the introduction of a universal “single payer” system on the model of Canada’s. Rep. Barney Frank did nothing to discourage those suspicions when he confessed, in effect, that the public option was a Trojan Horse for single-payer health care. Democrats didn’t have the votes to pass a single-payer program, Frank admitted, but if “we get a good public option it could lead to single payer and that is the best way to reach single payer.” No wonder opponents were up in arms.

 

The administration’s response to such concerns was underwhelming. During a June press conference, Obama acknowledged that “there can be some legitimate concerns on the part of private insurers” that the public plan could be “subsidized by taxpayers endlessly.” But the president never explained away this risk, instead deferring to supporters who promised that it was nothing to worry about: The costs of the public plan would be covered by enrollee premiums, not taxpayer dollars, and there was no danger of the government subsidizing its own program.

 

But as the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner has pointed out, to believe that the federal government would not prop up its own program is to ignore history. Medicare, the model for the public option, is a case in point. When it was first created in 1965, premiums paid for 50 percent of the cost of physician services. That number ultimately fell by half. Taxpayers were left to pick up the tab.

 

The Medicare example is instructive for another reason, as well. Had it become law, the public option would have been administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, the same agency that now oversees Medicare. As a troubling preview into the future, consider that, according to the Heritage Foundation, Medicare is facing a debt burden of nearly $30 trillion over the next 75 years.

 

With the president’s move away from the public option this week, that prospect may be less likely. It’s too early, however, to say that the public option is truly dead and buried. Though increasingly unpopular even within Democratic ranks – some Senate Democrats have objected that the plan is unfair to private insurers – the public option still enjoys widespread support on the activist Left, and the administration is already catching flack for even suggesting that it could be dropped from consideration. Whether this is significant will depend on whether the president is prepared to alienate the self-styled “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,” whose onetime figurehead, Howard Dean, announced just this week that he won’t support “health reform without” the public option.

 

That political calculation may explain why the administration has moved to muddle its current position on the public option. For instance, shortly after Kathleen Sebelius dismissed the necessity of the public plan, White House health reform communications director Linda Douglass released a damage-control statement assuring that “nothing has changed.” The president, she wrote, still “believes the public option is the best way” to bring about a cheaper, more competitive health care market. So far, at least, that qualification has not satisfied critics on either side of the political divide.

 

But even if the administration has abandoned its goal of a public option, the danger remains that it could enact a government-run health care program in a different guise. Thus the emerging talk of non-profit insurance cooperatives. Run by nonprofit insurers, these co-ops are being sold as a compromise approach that meets critics and supporters of the public option halfway.

 

Behind the appealing concept, though, may be a less appealing reality: The co-ops would be government programs in all but name. As the Pacific Research Institute’s Sally Pipes tells Front Page’s Jamie Glazov, “The co-ops would be regulated by a federal-governing board set up by the feds who would determine what benefits must be included in a health insurance plan, what premiums would cost, and setting of rules.” It’s no coincidence that Democrats like Montana’s Max Baucus have supported a national co-op “that accomplishes the objectives of a public option.” For backers of a public option, the fashionably named co-ops may be a stealth means to the same end.

 

Still, there is one very good reason to think that in its most politically unpalatable form, the public option is indeed a goner: it simply does not have enough votes to pass the House and the Senate. There remain abundant reasons to be alarmed about whatever legislation does emerge from Congress – especially its expected trillion-dollar price tag and the possibility of a health care mandate for businesses and individuals that has proven such a failure in Massachusetts. But the worst feature of ObamaCare may be a thing of the past. For now, the administration has simply run out of options.


Jacob Laksin is managing editor of Front Page Magazine. His email is jlaksin -at- gmail.com