By Peter J. Smith
NEW YORK, August 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Drudge Report, perhaps the most popular news nexus on the internet, has found itself in the White House's crosshairs after it published a link to a video in which President Barack Obama is shown, in 2003 and 2007, expressing enthusiastic support for a “single-payer” socialized health-care system. In recent weeks, however, Obama has repeatedly attempted to assuage widespread concern by stating that he does not intend to eliminate private insurance companies, but only wants to provide a “public option” to give insurance to an estimated 47 million persons currently lacking coverage. Obama has also rejected the charge that a public option would act as a “Trojan horse” for a single-payer system, which some Americans fear would lead to rationing of health benefits and excessive wait times.
Yet, on Monday, the Drudge Report linked to a video montage compiled by Naked Emperor News that shows Obama explaining that his plans for health care reform would eventually lead to the elimination of private health insurance companies in favor of a single-payer system.
“I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be potentially some transition process, I can envision in a decade out, or fifteen years out, or twenty years out,” Obama says in a 2007 interview with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The video montage then follows with a 2003 speech given by Obama at an AFL-CIO conference on “Civil, Human, and Women's Rights” in which he says, “I am a proponent of single-payer universal health care plans.”
The White House yesterday launched an internet counter-attack, accusing Drudge and bloggers of being agents of “disinformation” with “deceiving headlines” about Obama's health-care reform plan. The White House repeated the President's recent statements that no Americans would lose their current coverage.
“You know, the people who always try to scare people, whenever you try to bring them health insurance reform, are at it again,” said Linda Douglass, the communications director for the White House Health Reform Office. “They are taking sentences and phrases out of context and cobbling them together to leave a very false impression.”
Drudge, however, then responded by providing the uncut context of Obama's 2003 address to the AFL-CIO labor union posted on Breitbart.tv. In that address Obama states clearly, “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. …
“A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”
According to recent polls, Americans have become increasingly wary of the powerful reach of the proposed health care legislation, which seeks to bring the entire health-care industry under the control of the federal government and its bureaucracy.
Although the White House and Congressional Democrats pushing the health-care reform plan have said that the government plan will be deficit neutral, a recent analysis from Investors Business Daily concluded otherwise. Investors Business showed that in the years between 1968 and 2007, costs to maintain government health plans skyrocketed, with Medicare increasing 85.5 times and Medicaid 105.9 times, dwarfing government estimates for the actual costs of the programs.
For both houses of Congress, the August recess has many Senators and Representatives facing the heat of voters' wrath at packed town hall meetings in their home districts. Some Democrats have described the meetings as “town hells,” as constituents demand to know how they can trust the government to manage health-care, when it cannot keep the “cash for clunkers” program afloat for more than a few days without running out of money.
Today Drudge also linked to an Associated Press report that effectively validates the concerns of pro-life advocates that the health care reform will open the door to government funding of abortion.