Commentary: Chandler should stay tough on health reform

U.S. Rep Ben Chandler got it on global warming. So, despite representing a coal state in Congress, he voted for cap-and-trade legislation opposed by that industry.

He explained his vote in part by saying, "I thought about my children, their future ... "

As the debate over health care reform becomes more contentious and more partisan, Chandler needs to think not just about his children but also about the millions of children in this country whose families lack the protection of health insurance.

Speaking to a commercial realty group earlier this week, the 6th District congressman said his goals for reform were to control costs, maintain quality and cover as many people as possible.

But he declined to commit to the "public option" proposed by President Barack Obama.

"There's no point in talking about it if you can't get it through the Senate,' he said.

Well, yes, there is a point in talking about it — at least three points, in fact.

First, if Chandler doesn't want the public to think that tough "cap and trade" vote was the exception rather than the rule on his part, he shouldn't shy away from taking a position on a public option.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Lexington Herald-Leader.