President Obama’s pledge to work with health care providers and insurers to scale back costs misses the entire point: health care costs are so high because we are not giving patients choice and forcing insurers to compete. Every day when you turn on the TV, you see ads for Allstate, Geico, Farmer’s, and a dozen other automobile insurance companies. They’re all competing for your business, all competing to keep their prices down and their quality up to get you to buy their car insurance.  Missing, however, are health insurance providers. That’s because they don’t have to compete for your business.

We need robust market reforms -- not symbolic gestures. By putting control in the hands of patients, America can both slash prices and take another gigantic leap ahead of other nations in terms of the quality, accessibility, speed, reliability, and personalization of our care.

Instead, President Obama has proposed putting the government between Americans and their health care. He promised yesterday that his public plan will fulfill three principles: lowering costs, preserving the choice to keep what you have if you like it, and providing every American with health care. But the truth is, it will do the opposite.

Putting 120 million Americans on government coverage will create a monopoly that sends costs skyrocketing. Choice will be lost because the enormous government-run plan will put the private plans out of business. In other words, if you like what you have, you will lose it. And while health insurance will be provided, health care will not -- like every nationalized health plan across the world, as costs escalate, care will be slashed, patients waitlisted, drugs denied.

Real reform means choice. And that means choosing to reject a government takeover of our health care.