Jennifer Brunner

When Barack Obama appears at the AFL-CIO Labor Day rallly tomorrow to talk about health care, he’ll be speaking in a state where a battle is underway for who will get the Democratic nomination for the US Senate seat that will be open in 2010.

Jennifer Brunner is the Ohio Secretary of State, and she is a strong supporter of the public option. We invited her here today to discuss what it means to be campaigning on health care in a swing state:

As a U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio, I respectfully urge President Obama and Democrats in Congress to stand together in support of a strong public option for health insurance reform.

A public option is essential because it is the surest way to quickly provide access to health insurance benefits to the more than 47 million Americans without health coverage at the lower cost and high quality of care now enjoyed by millions of older Americans who are insured through the government’s Medicare program. With the exception of Medicaid and Social Security benefit provided care, access to affordable and quality health care by Americans under the age of 65 has deteriorated under a completely privatized system that is motivated by making a profit for shareholders of the companies that pay for the services. That system has rewarded exclusion of Americans in need, the proliferation and duplication of tests and procedures, and the "silo-ing" of care that has affected its quality. Thousands of Americans have been pushed into bankruptcy, while our hospitals have been forced to provide uncompensated care that has driven up costs of services to those who are insured, increasing premiums and further exclusions to the point that it will break very soon.

Please welcome Jennifer Brunner in the comments.