Public Option is baaaaaaack!!!
That once virile term, taken off the table by the Obama Administration last year to help ease discomfort among even Democrats about passing health care reform, returned last week to the common vernacular of Congress.
Could this mean socialized medicine for the United States? After all, the Democrats still have the lamb duck session to do this kind of mischief, even if they lose big in November.
Public Option is what Obama promised. God help us if he is allowed to fulfill that promise.
It was this month, 62 years ago, national health care was adopted under a labor government voted into office by a war weary British public. Now, secret government efforts to cut spiraling costs of national healthcare have come to light. The new British government plans to cut nearly half a trillion (that's TRILLION with a T) from health care costs because, after 62 years, the program is bankrupting the nation.
If you live in the British Isles and need knee surgery or a knee replacement - get in the queue - a long queue. While there has always been a substantial wait, it will now be much longer, a year, maybe two, maybe never.
If you have terminal cancer plan to die at home.
If you need cancer treatment, it will be meted out based on your age. If you are 65 or older, well, better check into a burial policy.
Greater rationing of health care is the new norm in Great Britain which, like most European socialized democracies, has a declining birthrate except among its immigrant populations.
Democrats in Congress seem blind to the reality they are imposing on the United States.
Already, seniors face losing the option of Medicare Advantage plans, which offers more coverage for less money and the entire Medicare program will be cut a half-trillion dollars. Both conservative and liberal think tanks predict more rationing ahead for the elderly. At its present rate of outlay, Medicare is unsustainable.
So what's a liberal congress to do?
Obama took a first step by appointing Dr. Donald Berwick, late of Harvard (where else?) and an outspoken admirer of the Britain's National Health System, to head Medicare. He is so loved in Great Britain that the Queen granted him an honorary knighthood.
I shutter to think what Dr. Berwick, late of Harvard, will leave in his wake. If you are medicare age, there is reason to worry. In his writings and studies, Berwick and his ilk view health care in the prism of rich versus poor and espouse the socialist theory that health care, like income, should be "redistributed" to insure equality of services for both ends of the economic strata.
How is such "redistribution" accomplished?
Mostly you take from the old and give to the young. Because health care costs go up with the number of candles on your birthday cake, guess who will get the short wick when it comes to services?
Public Option are code words for rationed services for the elderly and longer waits for those services if the examples of England, Greece, Sweden and the rest of Europe are the standards by which academicians like Berwick and Obama are building America's model for healthcare.
I think it would be a good idea for all graduates of Harvard to take a sabatical from government service. That might allow common sense back into our political discourse and right the wrong path on which this nation finds itself.