In an address to a joint session of Congress tonight, President Obama will try to build momentum for his healthcare reform, pitching what Robert Gibbs says will be a fresh argument for the public option. I agree with my boss, Katrina vanden Heuvel, who argued in a post that Obama ” will be most persuasive if he speaks with passion about his principles and priorities–and draws some lines in the sand.”

The President would also do well to take some cues from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who has become one of the clearest debunkers of fallacies underlying the arguments put forth by critics of reform.

In this video, Reich clearly explains what exactly the public option is as well as neatly unpacking the fake compromise of “so-called healthcare cooperatives, which would be too small and scattered to have the scale and bargaining leverage of a public option.”

At Salon, Robert Reich explains why a “trigger” for a public option is nonsense.

At The Guardian, Jane Hamsher issues a devastating call to action, arguing that Obama must retain the public option or else risk a massive grassroots uprising and reminds the President that he was the one who promised his supporters delivery from the tyranny of private insurance companies, and it is he who will bear the burden of the public disappointment if “health care reform” turns into a massive bailout of the private insurance industry.

Some Ideas:

Add your name to the Progressive Democrats of America’s “Healthcare, Not Warfare” petition.

Write your newspaper editor and call for national healthcare.

Contact the American Medical Association at (800) 621-8335 and ask the organization to stop its support of private for-profit health insurance companies.

Join one of the many Facebook groups in support of a public option, particularly the one trying to organize a march on Washington for a public option.

Donate to HCAN, the group that I think is doing the most effective organizing on the ground for universal healthcare especially in the districts of Blue Dog members of Congress and so-called “centrist” Senators whose support is crucial to passing a strong healthcare bill.


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