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Public option advocates turn up heat on elected officals

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Adam Allington, STL Public Radio
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Frank Sprayberry

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO –
St. Louisans in support of a federally-backed health insurance option are sending a message to their elected officials.

Members of various unions and community organizing groups rallied in front of Senator Claire McCaskill's office on Tuesday to make their case for a public option.

Keith Tubbs is a member of the Service Employees International Union.

"The only message we're here to send is that we support health care reform and we want our congress people to know that we support health care reform and it's time to deliver," said Tubbs.

It's estimated that a final bill will not reach the floor of the Senate for several more weeks.

Frank Sprayberry said he watched his mother struggle with insurance companies and that a federally-backed competitor to private insurance is the only way to create true reform.

"I can't see it being really effective in bringing down the costs unless we have a public option," said Sprayberry, "Because that's the only way to insure that the insurance companies will have competition."

Senator McCaskill has said for months that she does support some form of constrained public option. Other senators such as Illinois' Roland Burris said he will not vote in favor any bill that doesn't have a public option.

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