The New York Times story today Democrats to Develop Plan to Sell Health Care reports that many Democrats are feeling “unease” because of a Frank Luntz memo circulated last week that identifies “The Democrats want to put Washington politicians in charge of your health care” as a winning conservative message on health care.

With all due respect to Frank Luntz, no one needed to tell conservatives that President Obama’s health care plan puts “Washington politicians in charge of your health care.” Back in October of 2008 Heritage fellows Nina Owcharenko and Bob Moffit analyzed Obama’s health care plan under the title The Obama Health Care Plan: More Power to Washington. They gave it this title because:

The Obama plan proposes a comprehensive, standardized federal health benefits structure; a massive expansion of federal regulatory authority over health insurance; and an enlarge­ment of federal regulatory power over health care delivery, including the defining of what constitutes “quality” care. Moreover, the plan would prop up the existing employer-based health insurance system and government health programs, such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), to expand health insurance coverage.

Later in the New York Times piece Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) previews the left’s response to the “more power to Washington” charge:

“You can choose your own doctor,” Mr. Baucus said. “You can choose your own health plan. There’s total choice here. I do not want to say this defensively, but this is not a big government plan.”

Mr. Baucus said Mr. Axelrod had offered suggestions on how to communicate, using “words that work” and avoiding “words that don’t work.”

Rather than talk about a mandate requiring individuals or employers to buy insurance, Mr. Baucus said, Democrats intend to emphasize the idea of “shared responsibility.”

You can call a government mandates “cherry pie” but it doesn’t change the fact they expose every individual in the nation to more government control of their lives.