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An 'option' we can't refuse
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 10/31/2009 @ 12:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
The People’s Democratic Party has again proven that they are not really a party of the people. On Oct. 13, the Senate Finance Committee approved a health-care plan that is slated to cost $900 billion over 10 years. Of course, the tax increases begin almost immediately, the benefits are delayed, and after 10 years the costs increase dramatically. All of this as Medicare and Medicaid are circling the event horizon of a black hole into which they will disappear in 2018.
One surprising omission from the plan as it was presented Oct. 13 was the much-discussed public option. In order to win over Sen. Olympia Snowe, as well as to defer opposition from more conservative Democratic senators, the public option was shelved. Almost immediately, Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi pronounced that the final plan would have a public option.
This week, Reid delivered his ruling that a public option would be included in the Senate’s health-care bill. “I think it’s the fairest option,” he declared.
So, what was the reason for the Oct. 13 vote? If the Senate Finance Committee approved a plan only to have it undergo significant transformation before presentation to the full Senate, the committee vote was meaningless. That is, of course, other than as a tool to pull another fast one on the American public.
I have one very important question. Just who do Reid and Pelosi think they are? The unfortunate answer is that they think they are royalty. This is the result of real liberalism, wherein an elitist class decides on issues as they wish and not as representatives of the people who elected them. They believe, as royalty has always believed, that they are in power by the grace of divine providence and that their role is to make decisions and then force the people into compliance or submission. They know what is best, and they will not allow the wishes of their constituents to get in the way. Their attitude can be summed up in the title of the old television show “Father Knows Best.”
Now, in order to insert the public option, Harry Reid has reinvented it. It will be an option for the states to refuse the public option. Perhaps I used the word “option” too many times in one sentence, but it has been used in so many convoluted ways by the ruling party that I am confused.
Initially, the public option was to be mandatory for the reform package, but optional for individuals. However, for people who did not have “approved” insurance through their employer, the option was optional, but if they did not sign up they would be fined, so it was mandatory. It was optional for those who had “approved” plans, but it was mandatory that employers offer the option. So, it was optional for employees, but mandatory for employers. Additionally, if the health plans offered by an employer were not “approved” by the health commissioner, the public option was mandatory for employers and employees. So, it was mandatory, but in an optional way. Or, it was optionally mandatory.
Now, Mr. Reid proposes an increased level of “optionality.” It could be considered an additional degree of freedom, so to speak. The states will have the option of whether or not they want to participate. If particular states want the plan, then it will be optionally mandatory or mandatorily optional for the people of that state, as noted above. However, whether or not particular states want the option, they will have to pay for the option for all of the states that do want it. So, payment for the option is not optional. Therefore, all of the states will want it as they will have to pay for it anyway, as will their citizens through taxes. So, the new state option is mandatory insofar as payment and is therefore not optional.
The public option sounds a lot like “an offer we can’t refuse.” What does that say about the ruling party? This all sounds like an unending episode of the “Sopranos.” The public option is not an option. It is a mandate for a single-payer system, and we are the payers.
In 1791, Thomas Jefferson wrote of Congress:
“They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. … Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.” [emphasis added]
The triumvirate of Obama, Pelosi and Reed has exceeded the powers envisioned by our Founding Fathers. They have apportioned to themselves power that was anathema to our Founding Fathers – that of royalty. They have employed tactics that resemble those used by organized crime families rather than elected officials. We must remind them by peaceful but significant opposition and with our votes that they are not royalty, but elitist tyrants who will be removed from power by those who retain ultimate power under our great Constitution: We the People of the United States.
Frank S. Rosenbloom, M.D., is board-certified in internal medicine. He practices general internal medicine and hospital medicine in Portland, Ore. He serves as president of Oregon Right to Life and is a contributor for Fresh Conservative. His book on health care, “Lethal Prescription: We must prevent a health-care disaster,” will be in bookstores by Nov. 25. He blogs at summacontraprobus.blogspot.com.
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