Last year, then-candidate Barack Obama told a rally in Albuquerque, “If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system.” Earlier this month in Chicago, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) told a rally of government-run health care supporters: “I know many of you here today are single payer advocates and so am I … and those of us who are pushing for a public health insurance don’t disagree with this goal. This is not a principled fight. This is a fight about strategy for getting there and I believe we will.”

The fact that the left views a public plan option as part of an unprincipled strategy to eventually achieve government-run health care is not news. That Members of Congress are now so openly admitting it, is. So what is the left’s “strategy” for turning a seemingly innocuous public health insurance option into single payer nationalized medicine? It goes something like this:

Recent SCHIP expansion and additional Medicaid funding in the stimulus package made a substantial down payment on major expansion of government run health programs. Established research shows that a public health plan will “crowd out” private insurance, forcing millions of Americans off their current plans, and away from their family doctors. A public health plan, coupled with Comparative Effectiveness Research, would engineer artificially lower prices for medical services through the imposition of Medicare-style price controls. Such Medicare-style payment levels would undercut the market share of existing private health plans, and, combined with a mandate on employers, stack the incentives against workers in private employer-based health insurance by encouraging their employers to dump them into a new government-run health plan. Watch the video of Rep. Schakowksy’s statements on The Foundry. She clearly admits that the purpose of the government run option is to kill private insurance so everyone eventually is forced into government-run health care.

Moving all Americans into a government-run health care system will not only bankrupt our country, but will lead to less innovation in the health care sector and lower quality care for all Americans. There is an alternative. Some of which the Obama Administration even supports like removing the tax benefit of employer-sponsored health care coverage which will untie Americans health care coverage from their employers and help move the country towards a truly market based consumer driven health care model. Health care coverage can be expanded in a cost efficient manner, but only by empowering Americans to make health care decisions with their doctors.

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