City of Brass

City of Brass

poll: the public wants the public option

Aside from the August recess of Congress, there has been strong support for the so-called public option all along:

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public.

Americans remain sharply divided about the overall packages moving closer to votes in Congress and President Obama’s leadership on the issue, reflecting the partisan battle that has raged for months over the administration’s top legislative priority. But sizable majorities back two key and controversial provisions: both the so-called public option and a new mandate that would require all Americans to carry health insurance.


Independents and senior citizens, two groups crucial to the debate, have warmed to the idea of a public option, and are particularly supportive if it would be administered by the states and limited to those without access to affordable private coverage.

It was a high of 62% in favor back in September, a low of 52% in August, and now up to 57% in October. So, clear majorities all along.

I am still not clear on what the point is of the public option is if it is indeed “limited to those without access to affordable private coverage” – it certainly won’t be a cost-competitive check on the private industry in such a case. Seems to me the better hobbyhorse for the progressive movement would have been to argue for Medicare-for-all at guaranteed +5% rates, but what do I know?

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