"From the beginning of the health reform debate, I have expressed support for the inclusion of a public health insurance plan. I consider it essential for private insurers to have healthy market competition, which will increase efficiency and drive down prices. Currently, in Illinois, two insurance companies control 69% of the insurance market. These companies have little incentive to reduce their high administrative and marketing costs because they corner the market. Introducing a public plan that keeps costs low and provides a fair price to consumers would put the pressure on private insurers to change their practices for the better.
As Congress works towards making health reform a reality, my first priority is to ensure quality affordable health insurance for every American. I firmly believe that a public plan option would help to achieve this goal and will advocate for its inclusion in the final health reform bill."