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demand a public option that's available in every state

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Dear friends,

The Senate is closing in on a health care bill with a public health insurance option, a key ingredient of meaningful health care reform.

But conservatives and insurance companies are fighting hard against the public option, so Senate leadership has compromised by including an "opt-out" clause, which would allow individual states to choose not to participate in the program.[1]

There's a real danger here. In the stimulus fight, we saw Republican governors and legislators refuse federal dollars for political gain. The same thing could happen with health care reform, with everday people in states like Lousiana, Alabama, and South Carolina -- states with large Black, poor, and working-class populations -- left out.[2]

That's why I've joined ColorOfChange.org's campaign calling on Congress and the White House to make the public option available everywhere. Please join me:


I understand the need for compromise and negotiation, but I also want to make sure that no community gets negotiated away in the process.

Including "opt-out" may be the best way to get a bill through the Senate with a public option--but that won't be the end of the process, and it doesn't mean "opt-out" will be in the final bill. The House still needs to decide exactly what will be in its health care bill. And once both the House and the Senate have passed legislation, they'll have to negotiate with each other, and the White House, to reconcile the differences between the two bills.

That's why we need to make it clear that we're watching and that we will demand a public option that's available in every state. Please join me in sending this message to Congress and the White House, and ask your friends and family to do the same:


Thank you.


1. "So what is the 'opt-out' compromise?" Talking Points Memo, 10-26-2009


2. "Public option opt out denies help to those who need it most," Fire Dog Lake, 10-8-2009


no opting out!


                                               Look at the flowers

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