One of the reasons that I supported Sen. Jeff Merkley last year when he ran for Senate was because I thought he had the ability to be a strong voice for the working class in the US Senate. Since being sworn into office he's done just that and has proven to be a fierce advocate of the public option during the discussion surrounding health care reform.
On Tuesday evening he was on the Ed Show where he talked about how he'll keep pushing for a public option, which is good to see because we need more Senators publicly fighting for the public option since the media at times seems content to let the teabaggers control the discussion.Something else worth considering is that Sen. Merkley's a member of the HELP Committee which, along with the Finance Committee, will play a role in the shaping of the final bill coming out of the Senate. He's committee assignment therefore makes it even more important to pay attention to Merkley's strong stance in support of the public option.
I also want to highlight something that he said about the idea of a purchasing pool (aka co-op). Merkley points out that the general idea behind a purchasing pool might be a good one, but we simply cannot hand everything over to the insurance companies who have been responsible for the costs of health care doubling every 6 to 7 years. Instead, we need a structure that will truly allow all Americans to have access to affordable health care.