The public health insurance option would create a government-run health insurance program to compete with private insurers, adding important choice and competition to the marketplace, and helping to keep costs low. The Congressional Budget Office found that a public health insurance option would save taxpayers $158 billion over 10 years and extend coverage to the nearly 29 million Americans who remain uninsured.
During the big debate over the Affordable Care Act in Washington in 2009, the public option appeared to be “dead on arrival.” We organized mass support on Main Street and on Capitol Hill for the public option, took out a full-page ad in the New York Times signed by more than 600 former Obama campaign staffers, circulated a breakthrough letter in Congress, and ran hard-hitting ads that held Congress accountable.
Even though the public option was ultimately removed from the Affordable Care Act, the fight continues. Hillary Clinton called for a public option during her campaign. President Barack Obama echoed support, an important signal that Democrats are getting ready to write the next chapter in health care reform — and once more, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee will be part of that fight.