Progressive Senators and Representatives: Rally support for a public option, affordabilty, accountability, reproductive rights and immigrant inclusion.
(also see the Op Ed: The public is right about the public option Ellen R. Shaffer Wednesday, January 6, 2010, http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/06/EDNG1BDU6L.DTL, from page A - 8 of the San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 6 2010. Also at: www.centerforpolicyanalysis.org. )
The insurance industry hates it because it would ding its profits. Democratic leaders fear it could kill passage of health care reform. But reports of the death of the public option have been greatly exaggerated.
Poll after poll shows that Americans want to be able to choose a public insurance plan, and for good reason. It would be tragic to lose this pillar of health care reform to cynical inside-the-Beltway political horse trading. Here's why we need the public option:
It can really deliver on the benefits... It will drive down costs... It will allow us to re-engineer how we deliver and pay for care... It's democratic.Most Americans know this in our bones. The majority of the House voted for it, including many in our powerhouse delegation from California. The majority of senators expressed support for it - including committee chairs Max Baucus and Tom Harkin. We're tired of arcane rules that let minorities of one hijack the public's interest.There will be efforts to leverage the public option for other benefits. One benefit of the debate would be if the antitrust exemption for health insurance companies were revoked so they can be regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. But we need a real institutional alternative to the present system. Americans want - and need - a public option. Don't let your representatives trade it away.