ALG Dismisses Non-Profit “Co-ops” as Diversion from Government “Takeover” of Health Care

August 18th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today dismissed talk on Capitol Hill and by Barack Obama of “ditching the so-called public ‘option’” as “nothing more than a temporary distraction by the politicians to take the heat off members who ran into a political buzz saw back home.”

“It’s a diversion,” Wilson said, adding, “It’s all talk. Barack Obama and a few senators are making some noise about these non-profit ‘cooperatives,’ a proposal that no legislative language exists for, is unacceptable to the Democrats’ base of members in the House, and actually has even less of a chance of passage than their true goal, a complete government takeover of the nation’s health care system,” said Wilson.

On Saturday, the Obama Administration publicly moved away from government-run health care. Speaking in Grand Junction, Colorado, Obama said, “I think that we can craft a system in which you’ve got a public option that has to operate independently, not subsidized by taxpayers—it would be nonprofit… they would have to go on the market and get a market price for capital.”

On FOX News Sunday, Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) said, “The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for a public option. There never have been.”

The comments have set off a firestorm of backlash from the liberal blogosphere and by core Democrats in the House and Senate.

Wilson said that the Obama Administration is cutting its losses, for the moment. “Politics is a turbulent sea. And Obama is moving his ship out of the storm of opposition to his plans to take over the health care system. He doesn’t want his ship to go down,” Wilson explained.

But, Wilson warned, the move is only temporary. “The idea behind talking about non-profit ‘co-ops’ is to deflate opposition to the actual bills that exist in the House, all of which contain the so-called public ‘option.’ He knows the Democrats in the House won’t go for the ‘co-ops,’ but then his goal is to take the heat off of them by distracting the American people from the actual threat,” Wilson said.

“And then, when the waters are calmer, the push for socialized medicine will begin again after the August recess, when members will not have their constituents to contend with,” Wilson predicted.

Wilson said that it was no mistake that the comments followed what he termed a “lackluster two weeks for Congressional Democrats, where they foolishly decided to attack their own constituents.”

In the pages of USA Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote, “These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.”

Congressman Steve Kagen (WI-CD8) said they were “uncivilized,” and Congressman Baron Hill (IN-CD9) called them “political terrorists.” Congressman Brian Baird (WA-CD3) called opponents of the legislation “Brown Shirts” and compared them to domestic terrorists, “Some of the rhetoric that we’re hearing is… eerily reminiscent of the kind of things that drove Tim McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma.”

“These were absolutely rotten things to say about the American people, and now they’re paying the price politically,” Wilson said, adding that “Public support for this plan is receding rapidly.”

According to Rasmussen Reports, 54 percent of voters believe that no health care legislation this year would be a better option than the current bill, which only 35 percent support.

“If you’re Barack Obama, the last thing you want to be talking about politically is a government takeover of medicine that only a third of the electorate wants, and so he is trying to change the subject. But it won’t work,” Wilson concluded.

Interview Availability: Please contact Alex Rosenwald at (703)383-0880 or at arosenwald@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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