Support for the public option remains strong

In spite of unrelenting attacks most Americans support a public option that competes with the insurance companies that have gouged and ripped off its customers for far too long.

The parts of the health care reform championed by the “political left” and opposed by so-called “centrists” in Congress continue to have very high popular support: the public option and the employer mandate.

53% of Americans support having the “government create a new health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans,” while only 43% oppose it. The opposition is much weaker than this one question would indicate. 40% of people who said they opposed the public option would support it if it were restricted almost exactly like it is in the House bill, to “only people who do not receive insurance through an employer, or through the existing Medicare or Medicaid programs.”

The health insurance industry/Republican attack message against the public option does seem to be gaining a lot of traction. A strong majority (60%) do think the public option “would force many private health insurers to go out of business.” However, even with that belief, support for the public option still remains strong. It just might be that Americans don’t really care if many inefficient private health insurance companies go out of business because they can’t compete against a public option.
These numbers are from the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll on health care.

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