Sen. Russell Feingold becomes one of the first senators to say a public health insurance option is a "must" in health care reform. The Wisconsin Democrat tells Politico that opposing the so-called public option "is an endorsement of the status quo that has left tens of millions of Americans uninsured or underinsured" and he is "not interested in passing health care reform in name only."
I have heard too many horror stories from my constituents about how the so-called competitive marketplace has denied them coverage from the outset, offered a benefit plan that covers everything but what they need or failed them some other way. A strong public option would ensure competition in the industry to provide the best, most affordable insurance for Americans and bring down the skyrocketing health care costs that are the biggest contributor to our long-term budget deficits. I am not interested in passing health care reform in name only. Without a public option, I don’t see how we will bring real change to a system that has made good health care a privilege for those who can afford it.”
After the White House signaled its willingness to compromise further on the key component of health care reform, 60 House Democrats led by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), made similar warnings to the Obama Administration. One Democrat predicts that without the provision, the bill could lose as many as 100 votes in the chamber.
Sen. Russell Feingold was also one of the first Senators to support same-sex marriage when he came out for marriage equality in 2006.
Keep the pressure up. It's working.