The American public strongly supports the idea of creating a government-run health insurance plan to compete with private insurance companies and keep them honest. But this idea, the “public option,” is under attack in the U.S. Senate.
Conservative Democratic Senators are trying to water down the health care reform bill in back-room negotiations. None of the proposals that have been floated ensure private insurance companies will face meaningful competitive pressure.
Compromise is important in any political process, but it seems that many in the Senate forget that the public option itself is a compromise. Many voters wanted a single government-run health care system. Instead, progressive Senators compromised and agreed to a “public option” where private insurance companies had the chance to compete with a government program.
Now conservative Democrats don’t even want to let a public healthcare plan compete on the market. The private insurance industry is scared that it won’t be able to compete and insurers are lobbying hard to block the public option.
Tell the Democratic caucus to stand up to the insurance industry and support a strong accountable public option available nationwide on day one.