Fighting for the Public Option

September 15 2009, 10:13 AM
degette-dianaColorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette is among the few politicians these days who has the guts to say exactly what she supports in terms of health care reform. OK, it definitely seems easy for her because she represents a historically Democratic district. But for DeGette, reform includes the so-called "public option," in which the government plays a role in helping to insure every American---the option that has angered so many conservatives. And she's not backing down on that issue, reports The Associated Press. It doesn't appear DeGette is alone in making an impassioned stand for her constituents as the public option is about to be pushed aside. She has allies, such as Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who promises Congress will pass a health care bill with a public option by Christmas (via CBS News). And Harkin has the power to make such a claim as late Senator Ted Kennedy's replacement as chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Still, Harkin's vision stands in contrast to that of fellow Dem Max Bacus, who wants to create nonprofit health-care cooperatives instead of a government-run option. Meanwhile, doctors Jeffrey A. Moody and Ben Vernon, respectively president of the El Paso County Medical Society and president of the Colorado Medical Society, argue in the Colorado Springs Gazette that "without coverage and access for everyone, without financial and delivery system reform, without more medical and other health care trainees in the supply pipeline, you will find, whether you are covered or not, that it will be increasingly more expensive, it will take longer to get treated, and there will be fewer providers, especially in primary care settings."