Examiner Editorial: Democrats glare through the looking glass

Only in the nation’s capital could people pushing Obamacare keep a straight face while claiming that a new health insurance operation to be run by the same government agency that manages the federal bureaucracy is actually a private program.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, hoping to mollify the liberal wing of his party, insists that it’s still a “public option,” but everybody else on the Democratic side seems to think the public option has been replaced by this new “private” option. Thus, Reuters News Agency reported that “Democratic Senate sources said the substitute would create a nonprofit plan operated by private insurers but administered by the Office of Personnel Management, which supervises health coverage for federal workers.”

That office runs the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, but that’s only part of its duties in managing the federal government’s 2 million-plus career civil service workers.

Call it what they will, Reid and his fellow Obamacrats are still doing what they’ve been doing for months: seeking 60 Senate votes for a trillion-dollar federal takeover of the nation’s health care system. First, it was the banking and automotive industries disappearing into Leviathan’s gaping maw; now, the health care industry, accounting for one-sixth of the private economy, is about to become a ward of the government, too.

If they succeed, Reid and the Obamacrats will give the day-to-day operation of the world’s best health care system to the same bumbling cast of characters who managed the TARP bailout for pinstriped thieves on Wall Street, the mortgage foreclosure crisis birthed by ACORN’s government-backed banking industry blackmail, and the Cash for Clunkers debacle. Sleep tight tonight, America, because Barack, Harry and Nancy are taking good care of you.

The claim that government-run health insurance can be a “private” program is patently absurd, but this latest Senate Obamacare deal actually includes something even more bizarre. Millions more Americans are to be made eligible for Medicare, which is supposed to be cut by $500 billion to pay for this Rube Goldberg contraption.

Go figure. As it is, Medicare is the federal government’s biggest entitlement program and the one closest to bankruptcy. According to the latest Medicare Trustees Report, the program has a $36 trillion unfunded liability that’s certain to explode in 2011 when the first of the baby boomers retire and begin drawing benefits. Try as Reid and the Obamacrats might, there is no getting away from this cold, hard fact: The government has for decades promised Medicare benefits it cannot pay for without either raising taxes or cutting benefits promised under other government programs.

When private corporations promise benefits they can’t deliver it’s called “fraud,” and company executives go to jail. When Washington politicians do the same thing, it’s called “health care reform.”

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