Health Care: Which End of the Camel is in the Tent?

I agree with Grace-Marie Turner that the health care proposals currently bouncing through Congress are overreach.  But I’m getting especially tired of “camel’s nose” analogies such as this:

When Sen. Joe Lieberman vowed to vote against the Senate bill if it contains a public plan, Reid had to have something to replace it. He revived a Kennedy-era idea to lower the age of Medicare eligibility to 55. But when Rep. Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) let it slip that this would constitute “the mother of all public options,” Reid’s hand was called. “Expanding Medicare is an unvarnished, complete victory for people like me who support a single-payer system,” Weiner inconveniently boasted. “Never mind the camel’s nose — we got his head and neck in the tent.”

I think Rep. Weiner is wrong.  I think they’re backing the camel into the tent, with all of the unsavoury things that go with it.

It’s no secret that the end game of the whole health care initiative is a state run, single-payer system like the UK’s NHS.  The intermediate system being debated is crafted for political purposes.  Its implementation will make a single-payer system look good.  But those who pass it may not survive the political backlash that will result.

3 thoughts on “Health Care: Which End of the Camel is in the Tent?”

  1. “It’s no secret that the end game of the whole health care initiative is a state run, single-payer system like the UK’s NHS.”

    Sorry, Don, don’t think so. Britain’s NHS is pretty much a historical accident, building on the infrastructure that was put in place during WWII to treat civilians. Some of us would like to see a universal single payer scheme, such as is found in Canada, but you can rest assured that the insurance industry will not let that happen.

  2. My “elitist snob” instincts tell me otherwise.

    Why? Because the end game is to make the U.S. another Europe, which in turn moves its power centre upward. Having a single-payer health care system is an integral part of that. A single-payer system is the stated preference of our President.

    It’s too bad that our Anglophone sensibilities won’t let us look at options that include competition such as Switzerland and Holland (and to some extent France,) but real internationalism is skin deep. So we go round and round discussing the UK and Canada.

    You’re right about one thing–the insurance companies are a real block to changing anything for the better or worse, and given the receptivity of our government to well-financed interests and lobbyists, that’s not going to change any time soon.

    My personal preference is this, but the left had a cow when it came out:

    http://www.vulcanhammer.org/2009/08/21/first-dollar-last-dollar-an-employers-view-of-the-shameful-campaign-of-the-left-against-whole-foods-john-mackeys-health-care-alternative/

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