Health Care Reform and President Obama

I was sent this email by someone who I bow to but will not name. It is excellent do I am printing it and it recommendations in full…

Most of you probably received an email from President Obama asking you to sign on in support of the President’s three principles of health care reform:

As we recall from the presidential campaign, a key element of candidate Obama’s health care plan was a public plan option* that would allow individuals and small businesses an option to buy affordable health coverage through a government plan. I believe that a public plan option is crucial to any substantive health care reform, but there is much opposition to including such a plan. President Obama does not explicitly include a public plan option in the three principles that he is asking us to sign. If you support a public plan option, I urge you to make this known.

There are a couple of ways to do this
1) Sign the petitions at and message to legislators

2) If you sign on in support of the President’s three principles, use the comment box to say something like “I believe that a public plan option must be included in health reform legislation.” [The link gives you two chances to make comments, first in the “personal story” box and later in a “comments” box]

(3) Send a message to President Obama telling him that you support a public plan option using the form at *Public plan option: If you want more information about what is meant by a public plan option, there is concise information at Sometimes the public plan option is referred to as a Medicare like option or Medicare open to all.

Of course, if you are an advocate of single payer health care and you sign on in support of President Obama’s health care principles, you might also wish to communicate your support for single payer in the comment box or you may wish to sign a single payer petition such as the one at

There is more information about single payer at

There is a great opportunity to learn more by watching Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Channel 16, this Friday, May 22 at 9 PM. Several guests will discuss health care policy and single payer health care. The show will repeat Sunday morning at 11 AM.

And finally, you might find interesting the recent words of progressive Rabbi Michael Lerner on the role of the public in forming current policy:

The pressures on a President to stay with the status quo and the forces of the economic and political elites of the country are enormous, so that even when a President wishes to move in a different direction, he needs to be able to point to forces from the progressive world that are equally vociferous and pushing him in the direction he wished to go.

So, those who say, “Don’t criticize Obama, because he is such a decent person, so smart, and obviously wants the right things” are missing the point: OBAMA NEEDS TO BE PUSHED FROM THE PROGRESSIVE WORLD IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO BE WHO HE WANTS TO BE. He needs our support in this way.

Take care,

PS Below I have copied the text from President Obama’s request for support

President Obama’s email links to which contains the following:

The Principles

President Obama has announced three bedrock requirements for real health care reform. It must:

  • Reduce Costs — Rising health care costs are crushing the budgets of governments, businesses, individuals and families and they must be brought under control
  • Guarantee Choice — Americans must have the freedom to keep whatever doctor and health care plan they have, or to select a new doctor or health care plan if they choose
  • Ensure Quality Care for All — All Americans must have quality and affordable health care

Now we have to show Congress where the American people stand.