Dear Mr. Silverstein:
Thank you for contacting me and expressing your support for government-run public option in health care reform. I wholeheartedly agree that a public option will help enhance access to quality and affordable health care for every American.
Our country is facing a crisis in health care. The cost of health insurance is skyrocketing, and too many New York families are caught in the middle. Like you, I believe it is absolutely unacceptable that more than forty-six million Americans do not have health care coverage. Both the health of our citizens and the health of our nation are at stake, and we must act soon.
I strongly support the establishment of a public health insurance option which would create a not-for-profit insurance plan, started by the government, which would compete on a level playing field with existing private health insurance plans. Because the public health insurance option would be not-for-profit, it should require lower premiums and, therefore, exert downward pressure on the premiums of existing insurance plans. This change is pro-consumer because it adds competition to insurance markets, allowing New Yorkers and all Americans one more choice of affordable and comprehensive health insurance.
Too many Americans are either uninsured or underinsured and Congress must act soon to provide the necessary catalyst we need. The Senate Finance Committee, of which I am a member, is working with all stakeholders in the health care community to develop a strong bill that can help solve our current health crisis.
Thank you for contacting me about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can ever be of assistance to you on this, or any other matter.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator