More than 400 protesters picketed Fort Collins’ main drag, College Avenue, yesterday to tell Congress to keep the government’s hand out of the health-care system. It was the latest conservative attempt to crush President Barack Obama’s health-care reform locally, mirroring a protest at the state Capitol earlier this week, writes the Fort Collins Coloradoan. Their voices may be heard if a New York Times story today about freshman Democrats who fear the wrath of voters is on target.

Meanwhile, experts from around the nation gathered yesterday at the Keystone Resort & Conference Center to debate what to do about the country’s increasingly out-of-reach health-care system. Of course, the so-called “public option” drew the most controversy from panelists, reports the Denver Business Journal.

Insurers generally argue that a public option would create an unfair presence in the private market and could lower rates, leading employers to drop coverage and forcing people into a government plan.

On the other side, Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School, says, “Putting private insurers in this debate is like putting vampires in charge of a blood bank,” adding that private insurers “make money by recruiting the healthy and spitting out sick people.”