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U.S. Senate Candidate Cheryle Jackson: 'Public Option Critical to Real Health Care Reform'
Date:8/21/2009

CHICAGO, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Illinois U.S. Senate candidate Cheryle Jackson today said that a public insurance option is absolutely critical to achieve the dual goals of containing costs and expanding access to quality care in health care reform for all Americans.

Jackson said that health care cooperatives are not a viable substitute for giving people the opportunity to choose a national public plan that competes with the private insurance industry because cooperatives would not have sufficient power in the market to effectively drive down costs. She said that market giants like WellPoint, with 30 million members nationwide, would quickly drive the smaller cooperatives out of business.

"The proposal for health care cooperatives as an alternative to a public plan solves a problem for politicians in Washington but does little to address the long-term needs of people for quality, value, cost efficiency and choice in health care," Jackson said.

Jackson said, "health care cooperatives are untested on the scale being proposed, unlike Medicare - on which a public option would be based - which has proven effective and wildly popular with voters."

"The public plan as proposed would give everyone access to quality care while allowing anyone to remain with a private insurance plan if they choose. A Medicare-style public insurance option for all Americans would help bring a greater focus on value, positive health outcomes and service to consumers in health coverage. Private insurers have for too long focused on shifting costs and avoiding the risk of covering the sickest people who are most in need," Jackson said.

Health care cooperatives can be a viable part of the health care landscape, she said, but need the market power of a national program to create the competitive environment required to flourish and succeed.

"Without a public option, insurance companies win and Illinois consumers lose," said Jackson.


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