Graham Firchlis has a blog

Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid on the Public Option

Posted by grahamfirchlis on March 16, 2010

Dear Madam Speaker and Mr. Majority Leader;

Passing a health insurance reform bill without a public option is poor policy. It is also political suicide.

Crossposted at Whenceforth Progress. Please leave any comments there.

I know you’re in hurry to get something passed on healthcare/insurance reform, but I urge you to take a moment and reflect on the need to include a public option. A viable public option, even one managed by private insurance companies and paying above-Medicare rates, is the only meaningful way to combat the worst of private insurance practices.

What ever rules and regulations are imposed, the private insurers will find a work-around. Only by offering a strictly regulated program available to anyone and offering comprehensive Medicare-like coverage can “free-market” forces be brought fully to bear. Give people a real option, and the privates will have to treat their customers properly or watch them all flee. Without one, people will be forced to deal with intransigence and deceit and delay and their mandated participation will rapidly bring about anger and retribution for the Democratic Party.

Multiple polls including very recent ones have shown that the public supports having a “public option” overwhelmingly while rejecting reform without it. This is the case all across the nation, and most importantly from a political standpoint in states that will be key battlegrounds this November. Madam Speaker, in your role as a leader of the Democratic Party as well as your role as a constitutional officer, you have a responsibility to see to it that the country is not returned to the grip of the Radical Reactionary forces that have nearly destroyed us. Please pass a public option, help keep control of Congress, and continue to lead us in a civilized direction.

Majority Leader Reid, on a personal note; polls in Nevada show that you will pick up 20 percentage points on your potential Republican challengers by passing a public option bill, enough to overcome your currently losing position. While I have differences with you on some issues, I also recognize you as a decent, intelligent and dedicated public servant. It would be a loss to the nation and the State of Nevada if you were to be defeated in the next election. Please pass a public option, so we may all continue to receive the benefit of your honest leadership.

Because it is right, because it is reasonable, because it is decent, and because your political lives depend on it – Please Pass A Public Option.

Sincerely Yours,
&etc.

[I’ve sent this to Pelosi and Reid, and similar letters to both of my Senators and my Representative. I urge all concerned citizens to do likewise.]

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