Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Public option not dead

Posted on Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I am concerned about the ability of Americans to get access to quality health care people can afford to pay for. As a young American who recently graduated from college, I am realizing quickly what my degree will and won't do and the value of the money I earn and spend. I feel strongly as a Montanan the obligation to pay the debts I incur. I am currently working on paying off my student loans. With the low salaries available to me because of my desire to live in Montana, I am simply not able to afford to purchase private health insurance.

While I understand the importance of health care reform, I also understand the complexities and limitations to what we are able to do. I see health care reform without a public option as being even harder on my—and many others in similar positions—fiscal situation. The bill presented by our senator, Max Baucus, basically equates to a mandate that I purchase insurance I currently cannot afford. There are measures to ease the burden of this mandate—tax rebates and insurance co-ops—but the bottom line is that I could not afford to pay for the insurance. Would that be breaking the law?

In order to provide a plan that is viable for me and many others, we need a public option. This public option would basically equate to me being able to pay to be covered by benefits similar to Medicare or Medicaid. This system would provide some actual competition to the insurance companies that would only stand to gain record setting profits by the plan suggested by Max Baucus.

I would like to reiterate that the plan presented by Baucus is only one of many different options currently being considered in Congress. Most of the plans considered contain this public option. We, as Montanans, need to let our senators know that, as their bosses, we demand they support a public option in their final legislation.

Bradley Seaman

Missoula

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