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White House public option ploy: A trial balloon, not a white flag

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 17, 2009 01:07 AM

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Do you believe the Sunday spin on the White House’s alleged “retreat” from the Obamacare public option?

Video of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s pooh-poohing of the public option provision is here.

Drudge illustrated the AP story with a white flag.

Politico says the White House has “backed away.”

I’m not buying the hype. Are you?

The real Obama is a declared proponent of single-payer and universal health care Trojan Horses. All else is political theater.

Late Sunday, the health care czar’s office said Sebelius “misspoke.”

It’s not a misstatement. It’s not a surrender flag. It’s a trial balloon to measure the potential nutroots backlash versus the potential Senate pick-ups.

Besides, the public option provision can always be stuffed back in via a 3am manager’s amendment or during the House/Senate conference to reconcile each chamber’s Obamacare bills.

As for Democrat Sen. Kent Conrad’s health care “co-op” idea, the devil — as always — is in the details.

Edmund Haislmaier pointed out a few weeks ago at The Foundry:

If by health care “co-op,” Congress means allowing private associations to collectively buy health insurance for their members or operate a health insurance exchange, or allowing people to buy health insurance from a non-profit, member-owned private insurer, then those would be positive, pro-consumer developments.

However, simply slapping the word “cooperative” onto a new “insurer,” but then specifying that the government — not the policyholders — picks the board of directors (as Sen. Schumer wants), or that taxpayers will subsidize it, or that it has to pay doctors and hospitals at Medicare rates, would just be an exercise in trying to disguise a “public plan.”

Distrust and verify.

***

Howard Dean on CBS this morning:

“It will pass with the public option,” he said, “and the president will sign it sometime in December.”

And from Michael Tanner at Cato: Co-ops: A ‘Public Option’ By Another Name

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Categories: Democrats, GOP, Health care, John McCain