I'm writing to solicit your help in an exciting new campaign to push comprehensive health care reform in DC from the state level. Yesterday, Progressive States Network began publicly circulating an open letter from state legislators to President Obama and Congress urging them to pass comprehensive health care reform within the year. The letter has already been signed by over 100 legislators from 27 states, including 11 health committee chairpersons, and is gathering more signatures daily. In June a delegation lead by CT House Speaker Christopher Donnovan, WI Senator Jon Erpenbach, WA Senator Karen Keiser, and ME Representative Sharon Treat will deliver the letter to the President and Congressional leaders in Washington D.C.
The letter strongly advocates giving patients the choice of a public health insurance plan, emphasizes the economic urgency of reforming our disjointed health care system, and encourages the Administration to accept state lawmakers' input in crafting and implementing a comprehensive reform package. We'd like you to post a link to the letter along with a link allowing constituents to petition their legislators to sign onto the letter. We'd also appreciate it if you could circulate the links to colleagues by email.
You can read a copy of the letter here. The link to the constituents' petition is here. We also just issued a Stateside Dispatch emphasizing the experience that state legislators can bring to the table in crafting a reform bill that includes a public plan here.
As Congress draws battle lines for the coming fight on health care, it will be essential to get input from all knowledgeable stakeholders. State lawmakers have a proven track record of moving comprehensive reform in a broad range of political climates. Thirty states currently offer the choice of a public insurance plan to government employees, and at least seven are making substantial headway toward opening these public plans to the private sector. If we're going to succeed in bringing quality affordable care to all Americans, then state lawmakers must have a place at the table.
We would very much appreciate your help in making sure they do.