debate. You’ll learn, for instance, that the proposed legislation calls for the public option to operate very much like Medicaid, pay for itself using the premiums of enrollees (at no cost to taxpayers), and require $2 billion in initial startup funds—less than what was spent on the cash-for-clunkers program of the Obama stimulus package.
Will the public option make it into law in its current form? Or something better? Or something worse? Or not at all? You could argue that it’s up to Congress, or up to President Obama, and you’d have a point. But I’d also argue that it’s up to us, to the individuals and families who will be impacted by the outcome of this healthcare reform effort for decades to come. I’m urging each of you to make your voice heard on the importance of healthcare, and of the public option in particular, by taking the time to call, e-mail, and write letters to the congressional representatives for your state and districts. It is critical that we remain aware, educated, and engaged about every aspect of this legislation, in order to ensure that healthcare reform becomes an effective reality for all Americans.