Have you heard? Progressives who oppose the Senate health bill are the moral equivalent of mass murderers. That argument is actually being made - along with the charge, ironically enough, that they're being too emotional.
A full defense of the public option requires moving beyond the basic arguments for reform. It requires reform proponents to take seriously the fears of opponents, even if they make up only a minority of the American public.
For today, we need to recognize that we spend more money in America on health care than any other country by a factor of two or three -- and we are not getting the consistent, high-quality care we should be getting for all the money we are spending
If the end product is an imperfect health care reform bill, one that takes too much from the middle class in order to help those even less fortunate, that won't be what some people wanted. But it will be be an improvement.
When a consensus bill appears in January, just break it down into bite-sized chunks, ask yourself how each element measures against your own goals for health reform, and finally whether all the parts fit into a coherent whole.