Washington, D.C.—Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement this evening, concerning the President’s address to Congress on health care reform:
“I am pleased that President Obama made the right choice to recognize the importance of a public option as part of the health care reform legislation.
“A public option is the most effective way to achieve our goals of controlling costs, eliminating abuses of patients by insurance company abuses, and providing quality health care to all.
“However, the President needs to be more direct on what the public option means and what it will do for the American people.
“President Obama was elected to bring change and progress. I fear that if my party and the President do not appreciate the mandate the American people have given us, the people will lose confidence in the idea that they can vote for change and get what they voted for.
“We in the majority must have the courage to do what is in our power to do, and pass a bill that guarantees access to affordable, quality health care.
“Doing nothing is not an option. That is why I oppose efforts to delay and kill real reform with a so-called “trigger”. We cannot wait and just hope that the insurance companies will develop a conscience.
“The defenders of the way things are want to diminish and destroy the public option because they fear it will be effective. A national insurance plan would have the bargaining power to get lower drug prices and better deals with health providers.
“We cannot rely solely on the insurance companies’ good faith efforts to provide for our constituents. A robust public option is essential, if we are to ensure that all Americans can receive healthcare that is accessible, guaranteed and of high-quality. Health insurance reform is an investment in our future that we cannot afford not to make.”