"Obama has never made his ultimate goal a secret; it's the same as Schakowsky's and Hacker's. The video shows him saying in October 2003, when he was running for the U.S. Senate, 'I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care program.' He adds, 'We may not get there immediately,' noting the Democrats must 'take back' the White House and both houses of Congress -- a condition fulfilled last Jan. 20.
Campaigning for president in May 2007, he says, 'But I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately.' That seems to imply that his goal remains the same as it was in 2003. 'There's going to be potentially some transition process -- I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out, where we've got a much more portable system.' Which of course government health insurance would be.
You couldn't get away from it. The president's defenders depict this video and others like it as a patchwork of irrelevant and misleading statements. They also cite Obama's oft-repeated pledges that any health care bill he would sign would let you keep the insurance you have. They don't address the point, raised by Hacker, that you can't keep it if your employer stops offering it.
But, as Schakowsky says, 'This is not a principled fight.' Schakowsky, Hacker and Obama believe, out of idealism but also perhaps for crass political reasons, that America would be better off with a single-payer system like Canada's or Britain's. But they realize that they're operating in a country where most voters don't agree. The video helps us understand how they're seeking to reach their single-payer goal through government-option stealth."