Could co-ops be a Trojan Horse? (American Thinker, Monday, August 17th)

August 18, 2009

The big media announcement this morning is that Obama is backing off the public option as part of a new health care system in a bow to political reality. Such was the impression given by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on the Sunday talk shows. 

What raised my suspicion as to the total rejection of a public plan to compete with private insurance were remarks I heard made by Sebelius on CNN’s “State of the Union” and Gibbs on CBS “Face the Nation.”  Both concluded that although the government insurance option is not essential, keeping insurance affordable is. 

Sibelius further stated on CBS that the whole new marketplace can’t be turned over to insurance companies because they can’t be trusted to do the right thing.  Gibbs further clarified his position on CBS by expressing a need for choice and competition in the insurance market.  Gibbs further went on the say that President Obama still believes that the government plan is the best way to provide choice and competition.

Does this sound like the Obama administration has nixed the idea of a public option in its health care overhaul?

Gibbs did leave room on his CBS appearance for other options that would provide choice and competition.  Among one option under consideration are cooperatives.  

The mention of cooperatives triggered in my mind a Morning Bell Heritage Foundation report posted by Conn Caroll on August 6. In his post, Don’t Let Co-ops Become a Trojan Horse, Caroll has this to say: 


“But, don’t be fooled; Burkean little platoons are not what the Obama Administration and its allies in Congress have in mind.  In liberal Washington today, leaders such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), are talking up co-ops that would be:
  • Run by the government, preferably thefederal government
  • Funded or subsidized by the government, or
  • Includes plans chosen by the government.”

Caroll goes on to say,

“a co-op with any of these three features is obviously unacceptable.  A real co-op is:
  • Run by its members,
  • Funded by its members and other private sources, and
  • Controlled by its members.”
Will leading legislators have in mind the right type of co-ops?

The proof is in the pudding.  I believe the American people have every right to be skeptical as to any abandonment of the public option, as a government-run health care system has long been a dream of the Democratic Party. 

Are Democrats going to abandon enacting their dream now that they control the White House, Congress, and perhaps soon the Supreme Court?
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