Health care reform should start and end with empowering patients. We welcome any discussion of new ideas that will bring patients closer to the care they need without government getting in the way. A co-op by definition, however, does not include government control. The specifics of including a co-op are murky at best. Any Washington control over such a structure would raise immense concern. Patients should be wary of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A co-op that is simply another name for a public option, or government-run plan, will be rejected by the American people.
Positive changes to our system will give patients greater control over the purchase and ownership of health care coverage. Any increased control given to Washington is control taken away from patients and their doctors. With the American people becoming increasingly engaged in the debate, we have a great opportunity to move health care reform in the direction of those most intimately affected by the legislation: patients. Given time to do this right, I am confident we can achieve positive, patient-centered health care reform.