If You Support the Public Option for Healthcare Reform, Write Your Senators and President

If you support a public option for healthcare reform, there's a campaign going on right now to get senators to commit in writing to whether or not they support a public option (Chris Bowers has more details). You should also write your president--I've heard rumors that, even though a huge majority support a public option, the White House is getting astroturfed (besides, Obama talks pretty, but action has been thin on the ground--let's 'encourage' him). Here's what I wrote to our president:

Dear President Obama,

Recently, you announced your support for a public option for healthcare. I urge you to stand up to those Democrats in Congress (the Republicans are a lost cause, and I wish your administration would realize that) who oppose a public option. As healthcare costs keep spiraling out of control, they are crowding out our ability to do all of the other things our country needs to do today and in the future.

The best way to control costs is to have a public option for healthcare, so the market force of competition can keep the private companies from gouging working Americans.

Since three health insurance executives recently testified that they refuse to limit rescission of health care, it should be clear that the public needs an insurer committed to the public's health, not shareholder profits. And we need this today, not several years from now, after some "trigger" kicks in. How many people will suffer or die while buying time for the insurance companies?

When you ran for office, you talked about "change." When it comes to our nation's health, now is the time for change. Yet, it appears that the same companies and the same lobbyists still have sway even though 76% of Americans in a recent poll support a public option [pdf]. And we were told--by you, no less--that we needed to elect Democrats to get enough votes for healthcare. Well, we did that, and now, we are told that there are not enough votes.

Mr. President, we did our job, and now, we need you to do yours. Find the votes.

I ask that you stand firm on your commitment to a public option without a "trigger." More than 40 million Americans are unable to afford healthcare. Rescission by health insurers is widespread. If that does not count as a trigger, what does?

Thank you for your time and attention.

You might be able to do something about this, unlike a lot of other things you see the news. Now go email him.


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And if you support real reform - a single-payer system - go here: www.healthcare-now.org.

Obama and the Democrats in Congress are squandering their mandate by ignoring the only solution with a national constituency supporting it.

The reason that people are desperately scrambling to save this insignificant shred of a reform is that the Democrats started out with a compromise proposal. If they had started with strong, real reform, then perhaps this public option would have become the happy medium that all sides agreed on.

Obama's mandate - wasted. What a disappointment. What does he say to real reform - a national healthcare system like in the civilized world?

"No, we can't."

I spent much of the day sending emails, filling in web forms, and sending snail mail. In each, I described the "affordable health insurance" industry as the insurance equivalent of "paycheck loan" places, exploiting the poor. We need the public option.

(Oh, and thank you so much, Joe Lieberman, for telling us there's plenty of competition in the private sector. How's that public health insurance been working out for you the last 40+ years?)

I too would like a public system with a private option, but this first step is too important to let lobbyists devour it in its crib.

I would like a public option. I go to Canada for a prescription. Here in the US the âName Brandâ is $120 for a 30-day supply. In Canada a generic is less than $60 dollars for a 120-day supply. No generic here in the states. I'm lucky enough to live close to Canada. I can only hope that someday we well a have at least what Canada has.

By Jame Burdett (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

I have not seen a raise in 4 years, last year I recieved a lousy .35 per hr. increase and my healthcare went up $15.00 per wk, figure it out.

I support "Public Option". It is much needed to compete with the vultures aka insurance companies. It is not a government takeover, but a public competition against the blood-sucking private companies that exploit the sick and dying people. This is a democratic country. This means we are the people and we are the government. Why afraid of the government - We can undo it at any election! Can we elect or undo a CEO or President of a private insurance company? No way!

With all these horror stories about the public health care system of other countries, what percentage of people in those countries would be willing to exchange their system for that of the U.S.? 2 or 3%, or even less?

By Peter Stahlmann (not verified) on 15 Oct 2009 #permalink

This is the problem. "The republicans are a lost cause"? Are you serious? Do you realize that not all Americans are democrats? Democrats aren't the only ones with the right to government representation.
Also "competition" isn't the same as purposefully driving private companies out of business by offering public insurance at a loss. Competition in which one competitor doesn't have to make a profit to operate (because they can raise taxes instead), and the other competitor has to make a profit to pay for its costs creates a situation in which the private company doesn't have a chance.
And public support is seriously decreasing for such awful policies. That's why they haven't passed it yet and want bi-partisan support (good luck with that!) so when this backfires they can spread the blame around both parties. Too bad that's not going to happen because they could pass it right now if they wanted to be held responsible for the results.
I love this radical, dictatorial attitude you liberals have. Who cares if some dems disagree? Who cares if there's no republican support? Ram it through! Do it while you have the power! Don't listen to the people, just do it.
That is not how this country is supposed to operate.

since the Health care act has gome into affect we have been having a lot more problems with our insurance co. We pay 180.00 every two weeks just for our medical coverage. my husband travels for work.when he got sick he called to find a clinic to keep our medical cost down. they told him what clinc to go to.when we got the bill it came in as a hospital bill instead of a clinic .{this is a 75.00 differance.}to top it off he saw a nurse verces a dr. the hospital billed it as a specialist.another 25.00 extra co pay.then the vist was considered urgent care.so they could add on another 132.00.a bill we were told by the insurance co. would cost us 25.00 is now costing us182.00 we check frist was told were to go. then its billed by the hospital instead of as a clinic.How can the insurance co. not know this is a hospital .what can be done to stop this type of billing?we are on a tight budget .we do everything to keep our bills down But for some reason the insurance co. and hospitals are robbing us blind. what can we do about it???

By Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Oct 2010 #permalink