Since taking office, President Obama hasn't said much about a key plank of health care reform—the public health insurance option. Some worried he had backed off from his support of it.
Yesterday, all that changed. Obama said: "I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest."1
This is a huge deal. It's Obama using some of his massive political capital to take a crucial stand. And it's going to make a bunch of Republicans and insurance company lobbyists pretty angry at him. In fact, they're spending $20 million to crush this key part of his plan.2
Clicking here will sign your name:
The petition says: "I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest."
The public health insurance option, which will provide coverage for all Americans and help bring costs down, is a crucial component of health care reform—and it's Republicans' number one target. As an article in the D.C. newspaper Roll Call put it yesterday:3
"Senate Republicans, realizing they don't have the votes to stop a Democratic health care bill on their own, are relying on a strategy designed to win the public relations battle over defining what it would mean to create a public plan. By the time the Democrats introduce a bill on the floor, Republicans hope to have made it politically impossible to vote for anything that includes a public plan."
This is a critical moment on health care. A key Senate committee is just days away from releasing a first draft of reform legislation, and the right-wing attacks are aimed at making sure it's watered down.
But if hundreds of thousands of us speak up, we can show Congress that Americans demand real health care reform—with a strong public health insurance option. As the President also said yesterday, "In 2009, health care reform is not a luxury. It's a necessity we cannot defer."
Sign the petition today and show Congress that Americans stand with President Obama on health care reform. Clicking here will sign your name:
Thanks for all you do.
–Patrick S., Joan, Ilyse, Peter and the rest of the team
1. "Barack Obama offers support for public option," Politico, June 3, 2009.
2. "Ex-Hospital CEO Battles Reform Effort," The Washington Post, May 11, 2009.
3. "Health Battle Escalates," Roll Call, June 3, 2009.
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