Thank you for your email on the important subject of health care reform. I hope you will prove to be one of the leaders in making real reform happen. I often see you mentioned as one of the Senators who may not support the public option, but everything I have read about the issue leads me to believe this is the most effective tool available to “keep the insurance companies honest,” as the President says.
I think it is good that President Obama has signaled that he will not be dogmatic on this issue, and that he is willing to listen to other ideas. But it seems to me we need to have a little more confidence in the strength of our free market economy. There should be room for insurance companies to compete with a basic government insurance plan by offering better service or more complete benefits, while also bringing down their pricing.
If your concern is with the deficit, by all means please fight to make the plan that passes a fiscally responsible one. Obama advocated some mechanism for triggering cost cuts if promised savings do not materialize. Hold him to that! If he wants to keep the insurance companies honest, there is no reason the Congress and the American people can’t keep him honest, too.
But please do not let the solution be a continuation of the status quo, or some bastardized compromise that makes no one happy.
You will win tremendous good will by making sure to pass a reform that makes a real difference.