The public option is a compromise, and not a very good one. But access to health care is a moral issue and we have to do whatever we can to make sure that everybody has access. We can pass a compromise now and fix the rest of it later.
Howard Dean has a list of how everybody in congress has indicated they're going to vote on health reform. The number of people who "don't know" if they support a public option is high enough to swing it either way.
Feinstein is on the list of "don't know"s, so I used her web form to send her a letter.
Dear Honorable Senator Feinstein,
I would like to encourage you to support a public option for health care reform. Any bill which does not include this option is not real reform. I voted for Obama partly because of his promises on this issue.
I vote absentee in California, but I'm studying overseas in England. The NHS is a fantastic system and we would be doing well to recreate it in the states. A public option is a compromise and not the best one. Failure to support even that is not just a political failure, it's a moral failure. I'm sure that I don't need to remind you of the alarmingly high number of uninsured children in California. They are counting on you to support a real reform, with at least a public option.
Thank you for your time,
It's probably also worthwhile to write congress people who support it and thank them.