Rep. Herseth Sandlin,
There's a reason 80 percent of Americans want a public option -- so we will have a choice when insurance companies abuse their government-protected oligopoly on health care. And the only way it will work is if it run as a government non-profit. If we require people to have health insurance, this is the only viable option.
Many countries have done this successfully, with no socialist takeover (notably Australia and France, which have both private/public systems that both do just fine).
I have to say that if you do not support a public option, which is what the country wants and the insurance companies don't, I this is the final straw. I might as well have a Republican representing me.
Compromising anything on the health bill for "bipartisanship's" sake is a cop-out to keep your Republican base. You will lose South Dakota's Dems if you do not work hard in the Blue Dog coalition to turn this debacle around and support a *real* public option. You know as well as I do that few, if any Republicans are going to vote for this thing in the end. We gain nothing by allowing the current profit-driven system to continue the way it has.