The public option will provide much-needed competition and choice for health care. And with the majority of Senators, Representatives, and the American people supporting a public option, its passage would seem inevitable.
But in fact, the public option is in real danger.
That's because the quiet threat of a filibuster effectively holds the public option hostage. Through the filibuster, Senators can delay debate on the public option indefinitely, preventing the Senate from ever holding a democratic, up-or-down vote on the issue.
On behalf of the people of Colorado, we've written an open letter to all United States Senators asking them to stand up for people and not the profits of the insurance industry. If you agree that the public option deserves an up-or-down vote in the Senate, then please take a moment to sign our letter below calling on members of the Senate to refrain from filibustering.
In a speech before Congress on the issue of health care reform just over a month ago, President Obama asserted that "I am not the first president to take up this cause -- but I am determined to be the last."
There is no doubt that we have an historic opportunity to reform our health care system, once and for all. We believe the public option is a crucial part of any real reform of the health care system.
But with powerful special interests determined to halt reform, the specter of the filibuster is set to derail our efforts.
Here is a copy of the letter:
Dear United States Senators,
As Colorado's elected officials and concerned Americans, we urge you not to filibuster the public option.
A public option is a crucial part of real reform. It would inject choice and competition into our health care system, both of which are lacking now. Moreover, it is backed by a majority of Senators, Representatives, and the American people.
Even if you oppose a public option, we urge you not to hold it hostage with the threat of the filibuster. Stand up for the people, not the insurance industry, and give the public option the up-or-down vote it deserves.
Sen. Michael Bennet, Gov. Bill Ritter, Sen. Mark Udall and the Undersigned
By signing our open letter, you can send a strong message to the Senate: Some of you may oppose reform, but don't hold the public option -- and the will of the American people -- hostage through the threat of the filibuster.
Together, we can communicate how meaningful a public option would be to our families.
Follow Gov. Bill Ritter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RitterForCO
Follow Sen. Michael Bennet on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BennetForCO