The bottom line is that the health care debate is not really being played out in the court of public opinion. If it were, Congress would pass a robust plan with a public option that was funded by raising taxes on cigarettes, booze, and people making over $250,000, and we'd live happily ever after (or not). Rather, this is a behind-the-scenes fight at the committee level, where certain senators who have ample financial incentives to please the insurance industry have a disproportionate amount of control over the process.
I'm generally not one to carp about special interest money -- seeing politics through that lens is often an overly reductive formulation that serves as a catch-all excuse any time Congress does something you don't like. But on something like the public option, which has broad public support and which would probably reduce -- not increase -- the long-run bill to the taxpayers, it is just about the only way to explain what's going on in Washington.
C'mon, Senator Landrieu. Come on. Your stance on public option is transparent bullsh_t.