Latasha Bennett is a 37 year-old single mother of two very intelligent children: her son Nico and daughter Nia. Thanks to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, Nico attends the Naylor Road Private School and “he is excelling.” Earlier this year, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) sponsored an amendment that would have stripped Nico of his scholarship and relegated him to a public school that Mrs. Bennett told a Senate hearing this week was unacceptable, disorderly, and unsafe.

After a rally to save the Opportunity Scholarship Program last week, President Barack Obama stepped in and said he would fight to preserve the program for existing scholarship students. So Nico’s education is safe. But what about Nia’s education? Mrs. Bennett informed the committee:

I applied for Nia to get a D.C. Opportunity Scholarship so that she could attend Naylor Road for the 09-10 school year. I was initially told that she was eligible for a scholarship, I was so elated. Then along came a retraction letter, and I was devastated and angry. I want Nia to have the same opportunity to excel as well as her older brother.

So what happened to Nia’s scholarship? Why was it taken away from her? Under pressure from teachers unions Obama administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan decided to phase out the program. In fact, the Obama administration did not in any way “save” the Opportunity Scholarship Program; they only “grand fathered” in protection for those already attending the school of their choice. Since Nia had not yet started attending school with her brother, she did not qualify. Mrs. Bennett had a question for Secretary Duncan: “I would like to ask Mr. Secretary Arne Duncan how is it that my child should not be given the same opportunity as his children to get the best education possible?”

What does all this have to do with health care? The Obama administration’s game plan for killing school choice is the exact same game plan they want to use to kill health care choice. During the campaign, then-candidate Obama promised that “you will be able to keep your doctor and health insurance if you want.” But your doctor and your private insurance are a big threat to Obama’s desire for a public plan. The solution? Hudson Institute fellow James Capretta explains how the Senate’s latest health care proposal solves the problem:

If an Obama-like plan were to pass, all health-insurance plans would have to conform to one of four benefit designs: lowest, low, medium, and high. That’s it. Four options for everyone in the United States, determined by the federal government.

Of course, the committee is cognizant of President Obama’s promise that Americans who like the insurance they have today will be able to keep it. So they create a carve-out for “grandfathered plans.” Existing insurance can stay just as it is, they say.

Except that’s not really true. Because elsewhere in the document, the committee makes it clear that existing insurance arrangements that do not comply with government requirements cannot enroll new entrants. Nor can any enrollees get the new premium subsidies the committee is contemplating. Consequently, no “grandfathered plan” will be viable, or at least not for long.

So just as the Obama administration plans to kill Opportunity Scholarship Program by not allowing any new entrants, they also plan to kill your current health insurance plan by not allowing it to sign up any new enrollees. The result is the same for both: Americans will have less control over their health and education as they are forced into government programs they do not want to be in.

Quick Hits:

  • According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson gave the chief executives of the country’s nine largest banks no choice but to accept TARP bailout funds.
  • The Obama administration’s decision to shut 1 in every 4 Chrysler dealerships is hitting family-owned shops hard.
  • Thanks to government-backed mortgages, the federal government now owns more than 50,000 foreclosed homes nationwide — enough homes to fill a city the size of Miami.
  • Tea Party Patriots are leading opposition to a half-dozen ballot initiatives that would raise taxes on Californians.
  • According to the latest Gallup Poll, for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995, a majority of U.S. adults now identify themselves as pro-life.