07/26/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Model for Universal Health Care Coverage

President Obama is right -- the only way we are going to have real health care reform in the United States is by providing a public plan.

But right now, special interests in Washington, D.C. are doing everything they can to stop public health care from materializing. They say it is too expensive, will limit choice and diminish the quality of care.

This is simply not true and we need to fight back.

Two years, after we launched the United States' first universal health care program, Healthy San Francisco, almost 70% of previously uninsured San Franciscans are now enrolled in our public program.

Our experience in San Francisco is proving what most Americans already know -- it is much less expensive to keep people well than it is to treat their sickness. This is particularly true when much of the treatment for uninsured Americans is provided in costly emergency rooms. We are providing health care at a cheaper rate than similar private care options and we are doing this in the middle of one of the worst recessions in history.

The president is making the case for a public plan across the country. But he needs your help if we are going to defeat the special interests and get Congress to act in our best interests.

As the chair of U.S. Conference of Mayors Health Care Reform Task Force, I am working with both Republican and Democratic mayors to make the case for the president's plan to reform the health care system.

As Congress gets closer to taking action on national health care reform we need to make our voices heard. The stakes are too high. The health of our nation and its economic recovery depend on it. We need a public option.

Sign our petition and show your support for President Obama's plan to reform the health care system.

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