Washington, DC — Consumer Watchdog today praised President Obama’s announcement at the National Governors Association that he supports allowing states to innovate with health reform, including adopting a public insurance system or single payer health care system by 2013 instead of 2017.
The idea is to let states meet federal targets any way they want to, rather than how the federal government prescribes, by 2013 rather than the current 2017 deadline. Bipartisan legislation in the US Senate would make the change possible.
“State waivers give progressive reformers in California and elsewhere the ability to move forward on ambitious reform plans that can pass at the ballot box in 24 states but would never get the time of day in Washington,” said Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court, who discusses in his book The Progressive’s Guide To Raising Hell how the initiative process is the best hope to enact the type of health insurance reform Obama campaigned for in 2008.
“Obama is giving those of us who favor a public insurance option to the private insurance market an opportunity to move our states forward,” said Court. “Now we have to take him up on it. Voters in initiative states like California should be able to choose their preferences in health reform and whether or not there is a public insurance alternative to the private health insurance market.”
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