From :IBD Editorials
Health Care: The rejection of the Democrats' attempt at reform includes a particular distaste for the public option. Yet the Democrats likely won't give up on it. Why? They know something bigger's at stake.
If Congress didn't learn during the August recess that the public doesn't care for the Democrats' scheme to turn the health care system upside down, then it simply doesn't have the capacity to learn.
Americans made it clear at town hall meetings across the country that they don't like the majority's proposals nor its intentions to force its will on the people.
The nation holds the public option in especially high contempt.
A Rasmussen poll taken in mid-July before the town hall meetings began found only 35% supported the public option. In an NBC News poll taken in August, 43% said they supported the public option — down from a month earlier, when 46% said they did.
A more recent NBC News poll found that in only one age group — the 18-34 bracket — is support for the public option greater than the opposition. And, at 50%-43%, it was not overwhelming.
In another poll, this one taken Tuesday of members of the Senate Finance Committee, the public option had the same poor support found by the Rasmussen survey. Only eight of the 23 (35%) members voting approved of the public option amendment that would have been attached to the Baucus health care bill.
Chairman Max Baucus and four other Democratic senators — Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Bill Nelson of Florida and Tom Carper of Delaware — joined the 10 Republicans on the panel to vote against the amendment offered by Democrat Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
The Senate committee's rejection should be the end of the public option. But it won't be. Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman, said Monday that if health care legislation offered by his party doesn't "have some kind of public option," then "there's going to be an enormous backlash against the Democrats."
Which is exactly why the committee began debate on another public option amendment, this one from Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, as soon as it had rejected Rockefeller's amendment. That one went down in flames, too.
But it won't be the last we see of the public option. Democrats see a chance to clear the path to a single-payer government-run system. Dr. David Gratzer, a physician who has practiced in Canada's government-run system, made that clear on these pages three months ago.
"The public option is a Trojan horse, creating single-payer health care in slow motion," wrote Gratzer.
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota inadvertently proved that earlier this month when he said during an appearance on local TV that the public option is just a step toward a single-payer system. The party that has agitated for government health care for decades long ago figured out how to get there in stages.
The Democrats' ambition doesn't end with a takeover of the health care system. The political left wants it all, which is why it's biting off the country in pieces.
Already Washington in effect owns the financial sector through its generous bailouts and the growing regulatory web. It also controls General Motors, once the biggest and most successful carmaker in the world. Health care is nothing more than the next domain.
Columnist Robert Samuelson notes on the next page that lawmakers want to push unwanted health care change on the public because of "politicians' psychological quest for glory."
We can't find any flaws in that thinking. We would only add that health care is just part of the warmup.