In legislation planned for introduction in the U.S. Senate, more Americans would be covered by health insurance through a new public health insurance option competing with private health insurers, a U.S. legislator says.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, claimed the adoption of a public health option would help control runaway health insurance costs and improve the quality of care available through competition as well as increase access to preventative health care programs in rural areas.

“Comprehensive health reform is not only a moral issue — it’s critical to getting our economy back on track,” Brown said during Wednesday’s teleconference and later in a news release. “We can’t achieve economic prosperity if families are only one hospital visit away from financial disaster or American businesses struggle to compete globally due to health care costs.”

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