Thursday, June 18, 2009

Public option supported by overwhelming majority of Americans

This just in from Greg Sargent's blog:

If this one doesn’t stiffen the spines of Dems who are wavering on whether to include a public health insurance option in the reform package, nothing will.

A new poll by a nonpartisan, D.C.-based research group finds truly overwhelming support for the public option. The kicker: The poll was bankrolled partly by previous opponents of health care reform, including one of the nation’s best-known insurance companies.

The poll — which was just released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a D.C. policy think tank — finds that a majority (53%) strongly back the availability of a public plan, while another 30% “somewhat” support it. That’s a total of 83% in favor of a public plan — a staggeringly large majority.

Even more interesting, guess who paid for the poll? From the release:

This survey was made possible with support from AARP, American Express, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Buck Consultants, Chevron, Deere & Company, IBM, Mercer, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Principal Financial Group, Schering-Plough Corp., Shell Oil Company, The Commonwealth Fund, and Towers Perrin.

Not exactly a band of raging lefties. The American Association of Retired Persons and Blue Cross Blue Shield were among the opponents of HillaryCare in the 1990s.

While the news in this poll is not uniformly good for Obama’s plan by any means, the public plan is the main focus of debate right now, and on this, the poll is unequivocal. What’s more, it’s backed up by the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, which finds that three in four think the public option is important.

Senator Landrieu - WAKE UP!

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