03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

An Open Letter: Dear Mr. President, We Need the Public Option

Dear Mr. President,

When you won the election people said ‘who in their right mind would want to be President now’?  Many felt that our country faced so many enormous problems simultaneously that this was a recipe for certain failure…and the failure would be all yours.

I begged to differ.  A truly great person would view the circumstances much differently.  They would respect the gravity of the situation but welcome the challenge, the opportunity to be great.

Not everyone wants the ball in their hands with the clock ticking down in the championship game.  The great ones are born for that exact moment.

I do not have your insight and volume or quality of information regarding healthcare reform with respect to the public option.  I certainly don’t understand the ‘politics’ behind this or any issue.

But as a practicing surgeon, with over a decade of experience in the real world outside the Beltway, I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you do not have a viable, competitive option under your control you and the American people will be at a severe disadvantage when dealing with the insurance industry.  

If you provide the American people with a competitive public option, the American people will keep the insurance industry in check.  We will force them with our premium payments to treat us fairly. 

If you do not provide the American people with a public option to the mistreatment that far too many receive from the insurance industry, you have left all Americans exposed…not just those whom currently lack adequate health coverage.

Mr. President, you were not merely elected.  You were born to lead this nation at this pivotal time in history.  You were born to be of great service as a leader for America and the world. 

Please President Obama, do not pass the ball.  Take the shot.