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  • Setting the Record Straight

    The Heritage Foundation has been clear and forthright in denouncing the health care co-op idea floated by liberals in Washington. As we have said on numerous occasions, their proposal is simply a cartel that would stifle competition, not foster it. It is clear to most reasoned observers that liberals plan to use the concept of co-ops as a backdoor for the introduction of government-run health care, which has already been rejected by the American people via the “public option.”

    Since we have written extensively on the concept of free market co-ops, there are people across the political spectrum who will selectively quote our research and writings to misrepresent our position. Erik Erickson, unfortunately, does so today, misstating our writings. It’s ironic, because we are on the same side on this issue.

    Erickson is right to be wary of liberals trying to hide behind the language of choice and competition to sell their version of co-ops as anything other than government-run health care. We should know, since we have been warning about this hoax since Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kent Conrad first introduced the idea. Erickson’s line that “the co-op proposal right now will not foster competition, it will just insert the government referee into the health insurance business” could have come straight out of our own writing. Indeed, in a post on our blog The Foundry as early as August 6, The Heritage Foundation wrote:

    Why is the left fastening to co-ops now? Because their public plan idea—a way for the government to take over health care—has run into a buzz saw of opposition among the American people. Liberals have concluded, it seems, that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. So if the public plan was a Trojan horse for single-payer (which means a complete government takeover of your health care decisions), a co-op (the way liberals mean it) is a Trojan horse for a public plan.

    This is as clear as it gets, or so we thought.

    Now, should we allow liberals to hijack the word “co-op,” to abuse it and misrepresent it? No, for the same reason that free-market champions rightly take big-government option proponents to task for using capitalist language to promote their hostile take over of America’s private health care system. We simply cannot let liberals copy what Humpty Dumpty said to Alice, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    Words must have true meaning. So let’s call a “spade” a “spade,” or in this case, a “cartel” a “cartel.” And let’s stop telling each other to “shut up.” It’s unseemly when the President says it, and even more unseemly coming from those on the right. And let’s stop picking fights where there is no quarrel.

    What liberals in Congress are trying to do is confuse the American people by usurping a concept that the private sector has used in many states for many decades. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank that prides itself in offering better policy solutions from a free-market perspective. It is our responsibility to assess legislative proposals in Washington, research them and offer our members the best analysis available in America. We will continue to honor this tradition as the health care debate continues this fall. We hope that all interested stakeholders continue coming to us for reasoned, reliable and informative facts surrounding health care in America.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Setting the Record Straight

    1. Roger D, Henderson, says:

      Using John Dean as a spoke person for Obamacare is like finger nails on the chalk board.

      I can still hear his screeching from January 2004.

      Health care is a state gov. issue not the feds.

    2. Roger D, Henderson, says:

      HOWARD not John. Sorry John Dean.

    3. Carly, Denver says:

      I am a fiscally conservative Democrat and I must admit that I believe that our government is trying to take over healthcare either by the means of a public option in the reform bill, or by coming in the backdoor using "co-ops". But my question has yet to be answered by anyone or any party: Why? Why is our government attempting this? ****Well, okay, superficially the "why" has been answered by the two major parties, from liberals proclaiming that every American citizen should have access to healthcare, to the conservative voice that proclaims the government is trying to take away our liberties and destroy free-market competition.

      So basically my choices are: (a) Believe that Liberals are more "Christian" than Conservatives (b)Believe that Liberals hate capitalism, hate free-markets, hate financial prosperity (c) Believe that Conservatives don't care that 48 million American citizens don't have access to health insurance (d)Believe Conservatives are selfish (c)Believe that the scripture " The love for money is the root of evil" was written specifically with Conservatives in mind.

      So, perhaps there is something deeper happening and taking place, not just on our national level, something worldwide even…I don't know what it could be – I am uncertain, but what I am most certain of is that I don't buy into or believe any of the four choices above.

    4. Ron McNary, Fresno C says:

      You tell us that the liberals are missusing the word co-op but you don't tell us what a health co-op is or what is bad about it. I would like to know the mechanics of the co-op and what are the Dem's wanting change in one?


    5. marvin wash, califor says:

      Where does Congress get the authority to establish a public option healthcare system? Is this not a Constitutional violation? Shouldn't someone sue our government for stepping outside the bounds of their authority? And shouldn't Congress be exercising their authority to free up interstate competition in the private sector, so we can foster a true competitive playing field that will bring about reform without costing the taxpayers (or Federal Government) any money?

    6. Cheryl, East Texas says:


      How about option #5 (or more)? Not all conservatives are throwing their hands up and doing nothing as you indicate. There are several conservative (not necesarily just Republican) plans that outline reforms that will help cut costs, reduce fraud and ASSIST some of those uninsureds who qualify to get coverage (deduct the illegal immigrants, those already eligible for government programs that haven't signed up for them and people who make sufficuently high wages to afford coverage but choose not to, and your "48 million" goes down to about 8 million). This Heritage.org website shows some of these plans and so does the Center for Health Transformation (www.healthtransformation.net). Please read about these. An educated electorate is the only hope for America's future!

    7. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 08/19/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    8. Barbara, San Francis says:

      I think we are being set up. The ambiguity coming out of the White House is a clever smoke screen with every intention of soothing and confusing us. Health care reform has been the football between Democrats and Republicans for far too long. When Dole and Gingrich attempted the foray into that hot button issue, they were howled down by the Democrats. The Clinton administration, the same thing from the Republicans.

      What have we learned from all of this? Yes, reform is necessary and very important. However, the government needs to slow down and intelligently readdress this issue. (I believe I'm thinking like a child here!) The Obama administration has created a ground swell, the likes of which we have never seen before. But please take note of where we now go to investigate and communicate. The internet.

      This powerful tool is being used and abused to instill a sense of empowerment, entitlement and fear in the American public.

      As I was growing up, there was a wise saying that was popular. "If you don't know your meat, you'd better know your butcher."

      Do not trust anything that is ambiguous. Turn to those who are wise and know their 'meat' and talk to them.

    9. Linda, Unionville, V says:

      Why do the numbers keep changing for the uninsured? It keeps going up depending on who is quoting them. From what I understand the numbers, whatever they are, do not represent American citizens, but about 20 million illegal aliens. Which is it? Health insurance is not a right and people who are sick or hurt will get medical care. People I know who have no insurance for one reason or another – usually because they choose not to or because what's wrong with them isn't covered – they have been able to work out a payment plan and the costs were significantly reduced for those people so they wouldn't lose everything they own. Apparently, people don't know that you can negotiate with doctors and hospitals and the people who may provide emergency airlift services. I have a sister who has children who probably qualify for the government health insurance and didn't know about it. So what the government is doing is trying to scare people and trying to take over a part of our lives that they don't need to get involved in. They need to clean up the messes already created by government before they create an even bigger mess. I don't know about a lot of people, but I'm scared and I don't want to be. I've never felt quite this way about the government, but this government is doing things that are reprehensible by trying to force something on us we don't want, trying to stifle free speech and a whole host of other bad things.

    10. Bill Barrett - 224 C says:

      I knew the guy was a liberal lefty as soon as I met him on television, one week later it was confirmed and now he and I will never be on the same page. I've been watching this crap since Franklin D. and the only president that has ever caught my attention is Ronald Reagan. He was a sly old fox but he knew what was going on and proved it.

      Bill Barrett

    11. Chuck D says:

      England created a national health care plan when WW II was ending and all things were still rationed and the economy beginning to recover from the war effort. Today England, Canada, Sweden and other socialist nations are turning away from the socialist idea toward a more capitalistic, free market idea of health care. They no long want long waits, rationed medicine use, high costs, dimishing numbers in medical personal to man the system, they are seeing the true aspects of socialism. Our current leadership can not see or realize history showing that socialism doesn't work, has not worked and will not work in a nation that has become the largest ecnomomic machine in the world. Why destroy a good thing? Why tax our grandchildren's future life? Why shut our remaining factories and business and put even more of the population on the welfare lists? A free market, capitalistic, low tax, reasonable regulation economy is what will make the future better not worse.

    12. Lynn Beale Valencia says:

      Why is the key question. I recently stumbled across a reference to "The Future and its Enemies", by Virginia Postrel. The topic of the book is not directed toward the healthcare issue, but indirectly she provides a framework for understanding how one people can reach such diverse conclusion in seeking social solutions to many problems. Worth a look at chapter one, hard to put down after that. Well researched and documented, it is a "A pointed and provocative cultural crtique".–Danial Silver. The Wall Street Journal

    13. Stephen Wahls Loomis says:


      I don't think it's about those four reasons. The problem is, if we make it an entitlement then what is the incentive to flourish we can just sit on our cans and get what the working fools get for nothing. People in this nation tried that before, using a commune type system to raise provisions for the winter and it about caused them to starve their first winter

    14. Jeffery, Lafayette, says:

      When 75-80% of the population is satisfied/happy with their current healthcare choice why are the Democrats trying to "overhall" the entire system? Which is the best in the world……

    15. David, Atlanta says:

      What the left has going for it is a unified presentation. Whatever the approach du jour is, they all get behind it. What the right is missing is that unified presentation. There are a lot of counter proposals to the left's ideas for the admittedly inadequate system we have, but there is no solid conservative unity behind one comprehensive plan. If the conservative coalition doesn't present and get behind one good, comprehensive, simple and understandable plan, the left will pass some cockamamie socialistic plan by default. Who's going to step up with that plan? Will we adamantly independent conservatives get behind it even if it isn't exactly what we would have done ourselves and support it? If we don't, we will have no one to blame but ourselves for our next step into socialism.

    16. Amy Simpson says:

      Tomatoe,tomatoe or potatoe, potatoe it depends how you say it, it still means the same! They can change the name or try so say it differently however, it does not change the meaning of the product they are trying to push down our throats. Leave our Health Care as is if you are not trying to change it for the better.

      Concerned Nurse and Grandma

    17. Ray Jones, Memphis, says:

      I am a baby boomer. My generation has paid into the system for Social Security and Medicare most of our working lives. We paid so much in that in the past we created surpluses. The Govt. promptly took the surplus, issued an IOU to the plans and spent it on anything they wanted to (mostly pork, entitlements, and buying votes to get re-elected). But rising health care costs due to many factors including (an unhealthy lifestyle, lack of tort reform, better diagnostic machines, procedures and medicine) has caused Medicare and SS to go broke.

      Now my generation (the boomers) are ready to retire. Those IOU Bills are coming due…. and the Liberals have panicked ! Why ? Well its plain and simple….. they have already spent the government into the poorhouse for decades with their flagrant spending, and their agenda is not done yet by far.

      Now they see they are gonna have to pay the boomers for Soc. Sec. and Medicare…. and its gonna take away the rest of their agenda, their beloved pork spending, and most especially…. their ability to use public money to buy votes to get re-elected !!!

      Folks…. back way off…. and look at this….

      This is the real reason the Democrats are in such a panic.

      They need more old people to die sooner and faster, so that they can save money on both Medicare and Soc.Sec. !!

      That explains the current govt. take over plan for Health Care…… now doesn't it ?

    18. W R Sauey, Baraboo says:

      Why not require congress to use the plan they are

      pushing on us. They want us to give up what we have, and if its good enough for us why not for them. We should not work on changing a plan, or accepting a plan without congress accepting it for themselves. Then we will know we have a plan that works.

    19. Roger S., Ma. says:

      Yes, Ray (Memphis), I believe you hit the nail right square! If they only could get this passed, maybe no one will notice that they embezzled everything that was ever entrusted to them. In a way, we're being asked to agree to the hugest — government — entitlement that ever was, sold to us as entitlement for the disadvantaged, but really only meant to hide a degree of malfeasance and misfeasance tantamount to high treason. (In ancient China the emperor would typically send his bureaucrat a "silken rope" to "honor" such conduct, and in modern China selfsame operatives typically get "lead-poisoning" for it. I've encountered worse ideas!)

    20. Robert Balmer,Barkha says:

      The only way to beat this attempt by the Democratic Party to avoid responsibility for their flagrant spending over the last few decades is to reach out to your Senators and Congressperson and make it clear that you do NOT WANT them to pass any of the currently proposed plans. I doubt if they will listen to us anyway, but continued contact with them will cause them to reconsider their reelection chances.

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