On one hand, we enlarge the government’s role in providing health care, making more and more voters dependent on Washington.
On the other, we enact regulations and restrictions to keep driving the private insurance system off a cliff.
To the American people I promise tonight, whatever compromises lay ahead, whatever the arduous negotiations, Democrats and Republicans will work together to continue to drive the current system off a cliff. (Applause from Democrats in the audience; Nancy Pelosi beams.)
Even if we cannot enact my administration’s “public option,” we will extend the great work of previous generations, making sure private health care continues to be unaffordable to more and more Americans, and piling up fresh mandates on employers so fewer and fewer of our citizens will have either jobs or health insurance.
At the same time, with tax dollars, we will continue to subsidize ever more consumption of that which everyone agrees we already consume too much.
We may not get there right away. But by taking these steps, we will bring closer the day when the only form of health care for most Americans will be government-provided health care, and the dream will never die. (Pandemonium among Democrats. Nancy Pelosi daubs her eye.)