According to a recent IBD editorial:
As American Prospect Executive Editor Mark Schmitt notes on his magazine's blog, Roger Hickey of the leftist Campaign for America's Future (CAF) as early as 2007 "went around to the community of single-payer advocates" selling the public option as a ruse.
Hickey pointed out in a New Jersey speech, for instance, that "the hard reality, from the point of view of all of us who understand the efficiency and simplicity of a single-payer system, is that our pollsters unanimously tell us that large numbers of Americans are not willing to give up the good private insurance they now have in order to be put into one big health plan run by the government."
When ill-fated Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, at CAF's behest, embraced a public option on NBC's "Meet the Press," said Hickey, "he was very clear that his public plan could become the dominant part of his new health care program, if enough people choose it."
The Obama and Hillary campaigns soon also embraced a public option. The political purpose of all three, according to Schmitt: "convince the single-payer advocates, who were the only engaged health care constituency on the left, that they could live with the public option as a kind of stealth single-payer, thus transferring their energy and enthusiasm to this alternative."
I'm not sure whether the speaker intended to quite so forthright, but I always like to give a Progressive credit when one is. One of the major reasons they continue to enjoy some success in the public square, after all, is the continual cover-up, the pretense of favoring prosperity, justice, and freedom, while doing everything possible to undermine it.
To be honest about one's dishonesty is rare, and we should applaud the frankness here. I think.