The Montclair Times

National Public Health Plan Is Needed

The Montclair Times — Thursday, April 30, 2009

By JODI GODFREY

I appreciate the coverage of the Health Care Reform Town Hall forum that attracted more than 160 concerned citizens from the surrounding community.

While Sen. Robert Menendez and Congressman Bill Pascrell were invited to speak, both declined. Sen. Menendez supports quality, affordable health care and recognizes the value in creating a national public health plan, but he hesitates to commit due to its cost. This is short-sighted and pound-foolish thinking.

I urge every single one of you to contact your senator and congressional representatives weekly until a national public health plan is included as the signature reform measure. Remind him that it always takes an up-front investment to make things happen.

Unless and until our Senate can move beyond the past, those of us who want a choice of something better will be stuck with inadequate health care.

I've challenged the senator to switch plans with me, as I believe it won't take much for him to see the light.

The phones should ring off the hook until Sen. Menendez and his colleagues who sit on the all-powerful finance committee find the way to pay for a health care system that puts the health of this country first.

It is an economic imperative and one that cannot be missed by hiding behind a deficit and looming debt that will only grow worse if our health care remains as is.

Ask your legislators to find a solution to the funding challenge so we can begin to heal the health of our country on multiple levels.

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