News Releases

Senator Murray issued Request for Information on public option as she works to craft new legislation

Poll shows 7 in 10 Americans support a public health insurance option—including a majority of Republicans

Senator Murray: “A federal public option will help guarantee that no matter where you live, who you are, or what your income—if you live in America, you can get the quality health care you need without worrying about cost”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced her plans to develop legislation with Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to establish a public option for health coverage to lower health care costs and help families get quality, affordable health care. Senator Murray and Congressman Pallone issued a Request for Information (RFI) today as she begins to work with her colleagues who have put forward public option proposals of their own to craft new comprehensive legislation.

“This pandemic has underscored why it’s so important to patients, families, and communities across the country that health care is truly a right, not a privilege. No one should suffer or die because quality health care was too expensive or too hard to get. I believe we must take bold steps to lower health care costs and move toward universal coverage by creating a federal public option available to everyone—and a clear majority of Americans agree. A federal public option will help guarantee that no matter where you live, who you are, or what your income—if you live in America, you can get the quality health care you need without worrying about cost,” said Senator Murray.

“I’m grateful to our colleagues who have already put forward thoughtful proposals on dramatically expanding coverage—and President Biden who has always been clear that this is a priority for his Administration. I look forward to working with everyone in the weeks and months ahead as we work to craft bold legislation and finally getting this done for families across the country,” Senator Murray said.

Senator Murray and Congressman Pallone sent an RFI letter, to the public today requesting their input as the Committee leaders begin to draft comprehensive public option legislation. The Senator requested responses by July 31th, 2021.

Senator Murray also noted the impact a national public option would have for families in Washington state.

“Even before COVID-19, I was hearing from people across Washington state about how hard it was to get, and afford, the health care they needed—but this pandemic has made things so much worse. I’m proud Washington state has been a leader when it comes to establishing a state public option and working to make sure everyone can get quality, affordable health coverage, and I’ve been in touch with state officials about how bold action at the federal level can strengthen Washington’s efforts,” said Senator Murray.  “Establishing a strong, federal public option will force insurance companies to compete, bring drug companies and health care providers to the table, provide every Washingtonian a new quality, affordable coverage option, and ultimately drive down health care costs for all families regardless of how they are covered.”

###