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We haven't heard of support for the health care reform's public option from teachers in North Dakota or from the North Dakota Education Association. I wonder why.

There have been a lot of false and derogatory statements made about the public option, such as socialism, communism, it will kill old people, it will kill Republicans, it will kill women with breast cancer and that it will kill your pet dog. Don't laugh at that last one, because I bet it will be the next scare tactic they trot out.

The truth about it is that the public option is just a "true" nonprofit insurance choice that will stand alongside the other private, profit- and greed-driven health insurance plans. In the case of the "fake" nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, employees get $15 million of bonuses and lavish Cayman Islands trips. Teachers are smart enough to figure all this out, right?

A "strong" public option will pressure down medical costs and insurance premiums across the board, including the private insurance plan premiums. That is why BCBSND is against it. Teachers are not so worried because they have good private insurance plans through their schools. Private insurers have publicly stated they will raise future premiums by 79 percent. Faced with this, do you think the school districts will give teachers a raise?

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Word problem for teachers: If a strong public option is implemented and it drives down health care costs including premiums for private insurance, how much extra money will the district have due to lower employee costs? And could this be put into higher salaries?

Teachers, call Sen. Kent Conrad and demand a strong public option. And you would be better off if you fired your NDEA board members for not steering you in the right direction.

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