The reason that the President needs to promise that he won’t take away your health plan or your doctor is that he believes that he could. After all, there is no right to choose a doctor or form of payment enshrined in the Constitution. And as to the right to contract privately—that has been whittled away by statute and precedent to almost nothing.
The President and other advocates of radical health “reform” do say they believe that health care should be a right—that can “never be taken away.” However, since this “right” is to be conferred by government, it is by definition an entitlement—a privilege. And even if it couldn’t actually be “taken away”—unless the political situation changes, of course—it can and certainly will be limited, subject to the societal goal of improving the overall health of the collective. How will we reduce the number of tests or procedures, or the amount of GDP spent on medical care, without taking something away?
Even if he doesn’t force you to change, the President cannot promise that the health plan or doctor of your choice will still be available under new rules.
And if the “reform” leads inexorably to single payer, that means no choice of plan.
The President denies that he is aiming to end up where he thinks the system should have begun: single (government) payer. “When you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care,” he said in one speech, “know this: They’re not telling the truth.” He said it is “illegitimate” to argue that his program is a Trojan horse for single payer.
“It’s not a Trojan horse,” said Professor Jacob Hacker of the University of California at Berkeley, who developed the intellectual architecture for the public option in the 1990s. “It’s just right there.”
Economist Paul Krugman notes that single payer may not be feasible to accomplish politically, but once people have the option of a public plan, it can evolve into single payer.
In other words, the public option is single payer by stealth, writes Conn Carrell.