I am disappointed by the Senate Finance Committee’s rejection of two Democratic proposals that would create a public health insurance option to compete with the private companies and hold down costs. Despite a 13-10 Democratic majority on the committee, backing from President Obama, estimates that a public option would save tens of billions of dollars, and polls showing clear majority support for the proposals, five Democratic senators caved to pressure from private companies and Republican scare tactics. On the Senate floor and in conference with the House, Democrats must continue to push for a public option, which would be a boon for struggling Americans with and without insurance.
That said, Democrats must remain united in support of any bill that enforces strict regulations on insurance companies and mandates health insurance for all Americans—provided there are sufficient subsidies to make insurance affordable. Even without a public option, such legislation would represent the most significant action on healthcare in over 40 years.
Read my Huffington Post piece on health insurance reform: "Now is the Time to Deliver"