I have been outspoken about the need for credible health care reform that covers all Americans, maintains quality, lowers costs, and holds insurance companies accountable. And I believe the best way to accomplish those goals is through a government run public option that will compete with the private insurance companies, the operative word here being option.
My vision for meaningful health care reform is also shared by the President and many of my colleagues in Congress. Though the President stopped short of saying that the public option was essential to achieve health care reform last night, he did reiterate his support for it and his belief that it is a means to an end.
The public option will help us achieve the kind of health care reform that will cover the uninsured, lower costs for the insured, and bring more security and stability to American families and businesses.
Republicans have rejected President Obama's repeated offers to come to the table and negotiate in good faith. They have continued to say "No" throughout this process, just like they said "No" to the economic recovery package, to energy and climate change legislation, and to providing health care to uninsured children.
The President, despite his best efforts, is not going to get the support of the Republicans on health care reform. They are determined to play politics instead of helping the people they serve and prefer to defeat reform in order to wound the President.
I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that politics does not trump public policy. We cannot allow health care reform that will benefit all Americans to be derailed. Reform will make us healthier and our economy stronger.
As I have said before, if we fight for what we believe in, if we fight for our principles, we can win. Most importantly, it will be a win for the American people.
Cross-posted from the Huffington Post