The top player in President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team is asking for comments about what people think about the economy.

Christine Romer, a University of California at Berkeley economics professor who is set to become chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, has started the conversation in a Web forum on Obama’s Change.gov transition Web site.

“What are the economic pressures that you’re facing in you’re lives?” Romer asks.

At press time, participants had submitted 485 comments.

Many participants complained about lack of access to affordable health insurance.

One participant, JanM notes that she is retired and her husband is preparing to retire in a few months.

“We were looking at our monthly outgo the other day and most of our money goes for insurance,” JanM writes. “Not only major medical, but also long term care insurance, car insurance, and house insurance. It’s very scary to think about which one of those policies to give up first.”

Other participants write about insurance-related issues in connection with the economic crisis.

“Free markets exist to the extent that information is readily available and used by the consumer,” writes a participant identified as Kimi. “We have not had transparency. The credit default swap problem happened because they called insurance by another name so that they could keep information secret. We need an end to the secrets and we need people to learn just a little more about the companies they do business with.”

HYPERLINK “http://change.gov/page/content/discusseconomy” l “idc-ctools”A link to Romer’s economic Web forum is available here.