On Sunday, the White House signaled that it is willing to give up on the public option in the Health Care bill.  According to Politico:

President Barack Obama and his top aides are signaling that they’re prepared to drop a government insurance option from a final health-reform deal if that’s what’s needed to strike a compromise on Obama’s top legislative priority.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday that the public option was “not the essential element” of the overhaul. A day earlier, Obama downplayed the public option during a Colorado town hall meeting, saying it was “just one sliver” of the debate.

He even chided Democratic supporters and Republican critics for becoming “so fixated on this that they forget everything else” — a dig at some liberals in his own party who have made the public option the main rallying cry of the health reform debate.

At the same time, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), one of six senators involved in bipartisan Finance Committee negotiations, all but declared the public option dead in the Senate.

“Look, the fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option,” said Conrad, who has pushed an alternative proposal to create a network of consumer cooperatives, on Fox News Sunday. “There never have been. So to continue to chase that rabbit, I think, is just a wasted effort.”

On the surface, this may seem like a victory for conservatives.  It looks like public pressure and opposition to the health care bill is causing the White House to retreat from the most liberal portion of the bill.  Some conservatives may be ready to pat themselves on the back and celebrate, but I’m still very nervous.  I’m nervous because of incrementalism.

Incrementalism is the process of acheiving social and political goals one small piece at a time.  Right now, the majority of Americans do not want a public option in health care.  All of the major polls reflect this.  However, if the government takes a few smalls steps towards a public option, they are closer to their ultimate goal and conservatives are farther away from theirs.  Incrementalism is how socialism has grown in our country.  Outright socialism is repulsive to most Americans, but when it is incremented a little at a time it is almost unnoticable until it is too late.  It’s just like a frog being boiled in a pot of water.  If the temperature is slowy raised, the frog never realizes how hot it’s getting.  Almost every social program was started on a very small scale.  Then, over the years, it grows more and more until it becomes a monstrosity of beauracracy and costs.  These programs usually have a noble goal in mind, such as health care for the poor and elderly, or food and housing for those with lower income.  The problem is that these programs are not the responsibility of goverment and will eventually take away more of our liberty and property in the form of taxes.  When conservatives and Republicans agree to a so called compromise on the creation of these types of programs, they are not encouraging liberty and freedom.  Instead, they are just slowing the growth of socialism and a cradle to the grave government.  Socialism still grows, just at a slightly slower rate.

Now, there is talk about the government setting up non-profit healh care co-op instead of a public option.  Some conservatives might think this is a better option, but it is NOT a compromise.  Instead, it is just a less socialistic, liberal idea.  A true compromise involves both sides acheiving some of their goals and giving up on some others.  The conservative proponent of liberty acheives nothing from a “compromise” like this.  This is just one more step towards a single payer system.  By forming a co-op, conservatives will be less offended, and many moderate Republicans will be cheered by Democrats as being bi-partisan, rising above politics to help the American people.  What’s so dangerous about this is it’s another step down the road towards socialism, specifically, single payer health care.  It is incremetalism and it slowly erodes our liberties.

What will happen if ten years down the road the non-profit co-op set up by the government starts to go bankrupt?  By that time, millions of people will be dependent on the co-op for their health care.  Politicians will say it would be too catastrophic to let it fail.  Millions of people would be on the verge of losing their health care, and something would have to be done.  The government would “graciously” step in and bail out the co-op.   Then, the government would totally own the co-op and over time, will add more Americans to it’s roll.  The co-op will not have to make a profit and it’s inefficiencies and problems will be covered by tax dollars.  Private insurance companies will not be able to compete with an entity that has trillions of tax dollars at it’s disposal.  They will eventually go out of business, and we will have single payer, government run health care.  Incrementalism at work.

4 Responses to The White House is Backing Away From the Public Option in Health Care Reform. Victory for Conservatives?

  1. steve says:

    I’m not giving up either. The Dem’s as, you said, will keep working in an incremental fashion to reach their end goals.

  2. David says:

    Well our Pres. Obama will do anything to make sure his polls don’t keep sinking, so this makes since. If he was to drop it, it would be because he wants to be popular and when again>

  3. jwruss says:

    Excellent points. We must be vigilant to keep this from happening.

  4. Matt says:

    I agree totally with the idea of incrementalism. I do write about that a good deal at my blog. The end goal is a single payer plan. If they take five years more to get there with co-ops, they’ll take it.

    The Cloward-Piven strategy suggests that they’ll create co-ops. Then, they’ll structure everything so that many businesses can no longer afford private insurance, causing untold millions of people to be thrown into the co-ops. At that point, the co-ops will collapse, and the government will come to the “rescue” and take it all over. They will rely on the manufactured crisis to get to their goal. This really doesn’t represent a significant change. They’re simply restructuing it and calling it something else.

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