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Ben Johnson

Socialized Medicine: Look for the Union Label

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Posted on September 22 2009 8:06 am
How do you spell socialized medicine?

How do you spell socialized medicine?

Occasionally, watching the hate speech of MSNBC provides useful information. Last night, the two most influential leaders of the American labor movement clearly laid out their plan to partner with the Democratic Party in foisting the “public option” on the American people. It sounds exactly like the one I outlined two weeks ago, and it may be unstoppable.

The new president of the nation’s largest union demonstrated seriousness in his interview. Richard Trumka made his first television appearance as head of the AFL-CIO on The Rachel Maddow Show last night. Maddow introduced Trumka, whom she said had been “named” president of the mammoth union (presumably she couldn’t bring herself to say “elected”), and Trumka promptly threatened “to try to make [the Democrats] live up to their promises about health care.” Sounding a more activist voice than his predecessor, John Sweeney, who was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, he declared:

We know that standing up for health care with a public option that will break the stranglehold of insurance companies, we know that’s the right thing to do. They can call us whatever they want. It’s not going to deter us. Maybe it has in the past, but it won’t now.

He vowed earlier this month that the AFL-CIO “won’t support the bill if it doesn’t have the public option in it.” Given the pivotal role union members play in Democratic elections — donating $400 million to Obama’s campaign in 2008 alone — Congressmen will interpret this as far from an idle threat. [1]

If Trumka showed the passion, SEIU chief Andrew Stern discussed the exact method unions will use to push through the public “option”…

After announcing the SEIU — along with MoveOn.org — will be protesting in front of insurance companies today with signs that read: “Big Insurance: Sick of It,” he told Schultz how socialized medicine will become reality. Congress will eventually pass a health “reform” bill, and the House version will almost undoubtedly include “either the public option or trigger option.” (See below.) Then, when the bill goes to the conference committee, “We have all the leaders of the Democratic Party in one room.” Stern, a member of George Soros’ Shadow Party and one of Barack Obama’s most important advisers, believes when all is said and done, “we’re gonna end up with this public option.”

His prediction is shared by the second-ranking Senate Democrat, Obama’s former Illinois colleague Dick Durbin. Durbin has stated a “variation” of the public option — probably a “trigger” — will pass the Senate with 60 votes. Conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson support the idea, and Olympia Snowe appears to be on board.

The “trigger” option will launch public health care plans to spring up in any state where Congress deems private insurance companies have failed “to ensure guaranteed affordable coverage” to all. After hobbling the industry with new regulations, the goal is likely unattainable. However, the industry-wrecking “public option” will not begin until 2013 — coincidentally, after the presidential election — although “pilot programs” could begin immediately. The state-by-state, “triggered” public plans will have the same effect as a national public plan: to slowly squeeze private health care into submission, resulting in a national, single-payer system.

Thus, the road to a nationalized health care system is paved in just a few small steps.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, Dick Dubin said tort reform, which dries up the swamp of money that increases liability insurance fees and puts doctors out of business, has been thrown under the bus. If it happens at all, “it will be a separate bill.”

Socialized medicine is “health care reform”; keeping doctors in practice is not.

Click to watch Richard Trumka on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Click to watch Richard Trumka on The Rachel Maddow Show.

ENDNOTES:

1. Trumka also vowed to see the Employee Free Choice Act “passed before the end of the year.” Even Maddow mocked his prediction of securing “plenty” of votes in the House and “enough” in the Senate.

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