Obama Running Scared

A universal health care system based on the single-payer model appears to be a bridge too far for President Barack Obama.

A single-payer system, such as Medicare for everyone, would provide health care for all.

President Lyndon Johnson had the courage to weigh in with all his clout to win passage of Medicare and Medicaid.

President Roosevelt put all his chips on the table to win passage of the Social Security Act that makes the elderly more secure.

All around the world, governments have long made medical care available for their citizens. Why not us?

clearly has no stomach for the political battle that any single-payer
plan would ignite. So he's endorsed a step that would allow the
government to provide health insurance coverage -- not health care --
to eligible people. Such government-sponsored health insurance is being
considered in Congress as it writes health care reform legislation.

the public plan option gets full consideration in Congress, the
single-payer model has been unwelcome at the White House or on Capitol

Obama said part of the fierce opposition to health care
reform has been fueled "by some interest groups and lobbyists --
opposition that has used fear tactics to paint any effort to achieve
reform as an attempt to, yes, socialize medicine."

He made it
clear that his idea of health care reform would allow patients to
choose their own doctors and keep their own health plans.

Somehow government bailouts have been more palatable for Wall Street plutocrats who happen to be needy.

Obama stressed in a speech to the AMA in Chicago last week that he does not favor socialized medicine.

47 million Americans are uninsured -- many because some employers have
dropped coverage in the economic downturn. Others lack insurance
because pre-existing illnesses deny them access to private insurance.
There also are millions with no way to pay for soaring health insurance
payments because they have lost their jobs.

Nearly all
Republicans and some moderate Democrats oppose any public plan option.
These are the same lawmakers who receive many government-provided perks
including health insurance.

In his remarks to the AMA, Obama
warned against "scare tactics" and "fear mongering" by opponents of the
public plan option, which the President said should be available to
those who have no health insurance.

Obama rejected the
"illegitimate concern that's being put forward by those who are
claiming that a public option is somehow a Trojan horse for a
single-payer system."

Obama should tear a page out of LBJ's vote-getting manual and shame the heartless opponents.

The health of all Americans is our business.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.