Obama's speech tonight is meant to recapture the debate. Unless you've been living under a rock, you may have noticed discussion derailed by ridiculous conspiracy theories. Conspiracies are meant to distract and obfuscate, and so you have a number of gullible people believing propaganda, and all of this has to be addressed to regain control of the discussion.
I too am hopeful for a public option, and I agree with Obama that it's a small, but essential part of overall health care reform that will inject competition into the marketplace. The point is that it provides a safety net and brings down overall health care costs. That would be a step in the right direction.
The health care reform that is going to pass will be the beginning of a health care system in this country. The more people that enroll in a health care plan (public option or co-op) the more negotiating power it has. People have to start thinking of health care as a fundamental human right and voicing their issues and concerns based on good information.
There should be little controversy about health care reform. The polls have been showing that it has broad consensus. But the media likes a horse race, and so we get the asses too.