Dr. Jerome Groopman, respected author and physician, participated in a conversation about health care with several fellow New Yorker magazine writers (Ray Lizza, Hendrik Hertzberg, and moderator Dorothy Wickenden). Groopman favors reform and believes our current system is not sustainable. However, he was alone among the panelists in believing that the Obama approach would be a disaster. Groopman believes that they would lead to “a huge bureaucratic superstructure” that would not reduce cost but would reduce quality of health care.

The audio is not long, and Groopman, who accuses the president of “happy talk” speaks just about as clearly as anybody in the healthcare debate—he favors some sort of European-like system but notes that in England, where doctors are paid about a third to two thirds of what U.S. doctors make, there are about half as many doctors.

But the most telling moment is from Hertzberg—listen for yourself, but it appears to me that he is in favor of not telling the public the full truth because this may be the only time for years to come when there is a president and Congress who want single-payer health insurance. Hertzberg believes that we “don’t have a government capable of delivering reform in a straightforward way.”

In other words, Hertzberg would like the “nervous nelly Blue Dogs” and “cranky Republicans” to shut up.  Note to Hertzberg: We don’t have a government capable of delivering a single-payer system easily (your  “straightforward way”) because the majority of the citizens don’t want it.