Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The big challenge on health care

Can you write a letter to the editor about how important it is to include a strong public health insurance option in reform this year?

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Dear MoveOn member,

Key leaders in Washington are now saying that any health care reform will—and must—include a public health insurance option.1,2

The big challenge now? Opponents of reform are trotting out weak half-measures and calling them "public plans,"3 with the goal of leaving us with a public health insurance option in name only. The latest is a proposal for "co-ops"—small, regional insurers that would be too weak to bring costs down or compete with existing private insurance.4

We have to push back right away and with a clear message: Americans demand a strong public health insurance option, one that is available to everyone, national in scope with real bargaining clout, ready to go on day one, and truly public.

Can you write a letter to the editor about how important it is to include a strong public health insurance option in reform this year? Our tool makes writing a letter really simple. You can send the letter right from our website—it only takes a few minutes:


If you've never written a letter to the editor before, now is the time to send your first. The letters page is one of the most widely read—and most important—in local newspapers. Members of Congress and their staffs read it to understand how their constituents are feeling. And the media read it as feedback on their coverage.

Here are a few key points for your letter on what a strong public health insurance option should look like:

  • Available to all of us: A strong public health insurance option should be available to anyone who chooses to participate. If you like your current plan, you can keep it; if you want to participate in the public health insurance plan, you can choose to do so.
  • A national plan with real bargaining clout: In order to truly control costs and compete with private health insurance plans, a strong public health insurance option must be available nationwide.
  • Ready on day one: Every day we wait on real reform, health care costs continue to rise. A strong public health insurance option right out of the gate is key to building a competitive program that will help control costs.
  • A truly public plan: To ensure it's held to the highest standards of accountability, a public health insurance option must be truly publicly run—accountable and transparent to Congress and to voters.
A robust public health insurance option is the lynchpin of real reform that will help bring costs down and provide coverage for all Americans. If thousands of us write to our local papers, we can make sure our representatives in Washington understand how crucial it is to voters like us. Please click here to get started:


Thanks for all you do.

–Patrick S., Kat, Nita, Justin and the rest of the team


1. "Pelosi: Health Care Reform Can't Pass Without Public Option," The Huffington Post, June 11, 2009.

2. "CONFIRMED: Kennedy Bill Will Have Public Health Insurance Option," Health Care for America Now, June 9, 2009.

3. "Co-op compromise gives White House a health option," The Associated Press, June 14, 2009.

4."A Co-Op for the Public Option? Let's Talk Principles," The Now! Blog, June 12, 2009.

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