Does anyone in Washington tell the truth? Why should Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid be believed when he promises states can "opt-out" of a public option on health care? This isn't like opting-out of sex education class. Individuals won't be able to avoid the consequences of national health care once the government puts the insurance companies out of business, because there will be no other choice than the government program.
With health insurance "reform," opting-out, is really opting-in for eventual single-payer national health insurance that will include rationing -- especially for seniors, who will be told by government what treatment they are allowed -- higher taxes, longer waits and substandard care.
Several Democrats have been honest about where this is headed. They deserve thanks from the public for exposing the lies their party leaders are telling us. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's cover-up now includes word games. She thinks the public option should be renamed "the consumer option." There will be no option for consumers when government undercuts insurance companies, which have fast become Democrats' Halloween ogres.
Don't take it from me. Consider Sen. Evan Bayh, Indiana Democrat: "If it was a public option that was just kind of a stalking horse for a government-run health care system, I don't think that would have a very good chance." Kudos to Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas Democrat, for saying, "For some in my caucus, when they talk about a public option, they're talking about another entitlement program and we can't afford that right now as a nation."
Imagine that! A Democrat saying we are spending too much as Congress prepares to raise the debt limit to $12 trillion. The deficit is currently at $1.6 trillion.
Sen. Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat, called the push for the public option "a wasted effort" because the votes aren't there. Sen. Byron Dorgan, also a North Dakota Democrat, agrees: "I've indicated I won't vote for a bill that's a government takeover of health insurance, or the health care system." And then there's Sen. Joe Lieberman, former Democrat and current Independent, who has vowed to join Republicans in a filibuster of any plan that contains a government option.
There is no secret what will fix the problems with health insurance, but liberal Democrats don't want to fix it, as much as they wish to control it and all of us.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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