First, thank you for your prompt and relevant reply to my previous email!
I enjoyed reading your Op-Ed!
Second, you write:
"Finally, I believe it is important that reform includes a real competition between public and private insurance plans. The only way to do this is to make sure there is at least one plan whose focus is providing care - not simply making a profit. Such a plan could take many forms, ranging from a federal cooperative patterned on rural electric companies to a nonprofit insurance plan."A recently published article in The Huffington Post (Compromise Co-Op Proposal Won't Lower Costs, Government Study Showed) suggests that the GAO has in the past concluded that a Government-sponsored cooperative of private insurance companies comes up well short of the goal of reducing the cost of health insurance.
I continue to believe that a Medicare-like public-option is the only real reform that will curb predatory insurance practices and provide lower-cost, affordable health health insurance for Americans.
I note that we are the only developed country in the world without some form of universal health insurance, that we pay the most for healthcare, and get health outcomes that are simply embarrassing compared with other developed countries (we surpass only Turkey & Mexico with respect to infant mortality!).
[CRS Report for Congress, U.S. Healthcare Spending: Comparison with Other OECDCountries, September 17, 2007]
Again, I view the 'public-option' as a litmus test, and I look to you as a senior Senator to help President Obama twist some arms.
[I note that if LBJ had appeased his opponents, we'd likely not have the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Voting Rights Act of 1965 - and that Obama would likely NOT be our current President!
LBJ is the model President Obama ought imitate. I expect you to tell him this, and to help him twist some arms!]
I cannot tell you how upset I am to continue reading headlines along the lines of, "Dems cave on Public Option".
I'd hoped that with a solid Democratic House majority, a respectable Democratic Senate majority, and a Democratic president elected at least in part based on his perceived progressive principles that I'd not be reading these headlines today!