No Retreat From Healthcare Reform

Protest or not, South Florida Congressman Robert Wexler let it be known today he's not backing away from supporting health-care reform that includes a government-run public option.

Wexler noted that a second protest is planned for today outside his office building in Boca Raton.

Wexler"I welcome the input and deeply respect the right of people to express their views," Wexler said this morning. "But let me be clear: I will not back away from my unequivocal commitment to delivering comprehensive health care reform. The status quo is totally unacceptable and will strangle our economy if we do nothing."

"Instead, we must deliver universal health care -- with a robust public option -- that strengthens Medicare, allows Americans to keep their current insurance if they wish and ultimately drives down costs for all Americans."

Sign-waving conservatives who oppose any form of government-run health plan will gather outside the offices of every member of Congress in Florida. They hope to sway public opinion and influence Congress.

The conservative demonstrations are a counter-point to grass-roots lobbying by Floridians who favor comprehensive reform that would provide health care for all. Most of these reformers want the government to oversee insurance coverage or create a public plan as an option for consumers to compete with private insurance.

Wexler strongly favors a "single-payer", or government supervised plan, but he would settle for a "robust" public option.

The conservative demonstrators know they are unlikely to change Wexler's mind. They are focused more on persuading passers-by.

"It's not just about Robert Wexler but all leaders in Congress," said Daria DiGiovanni of Boca Raton, who plans to join the demonstration. "Politicians need to understand there is a palpable anger out there. Everyone is well behaved (at these rallies), but people are angry about what's happening."

"There is a perception they are still not listening in Washington. That's why we're getting out there, taking time out of our day to do this and wake up these politicians."