The Common Good

Absurd Health Insurance Premiums Renew Calls for Public Option

100218_091022-073-health-careHealth insurance companies have been remarkably brazen of late. Are they confident enough that they have killed health insurance reform that they can operate with impunity? Even with record profits, insurance companies in seven states are seeking absurd increases in premiums. Think that it is nearly impossible to get insurance on the private market? Well, if they have their way, it will only get worse.

It is time to ratchet up our support of the public option -- the only way being proposed so far that has the promise to reduce these rate increases. We have all become painfully aware of the concept of "too big to fail." Well, there come times when certain companies within certain industry segments become too big or too strong for the common good to prevail over the desire for more profits. When that happens, it is not only acceptable, but necessary that we unite together in a way that reduces their power to exploit. There is a move afoot, with some senators stepping forward to support the public option, supporting a way forward that reduces the control those companies have over us. Eleven senators have already signed a letter to Majority Leader Reid in support of this plan. Let them know you support them and join me in putting what pressure you can on your own senators to put us on a better course. It is time to get serious!

Chuck Gutenson is the chief operating officer for Sojourners.

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