Public option gets a boost

A new poll shows the idea of a government-run insurance plan getting majority support


Alex Koppelman
October 20, 2009 2:40AM (UTC)

Congress' work on healthcare reform is hitting a pretty crucial juncture. So it's good news for supporters of the public option that the plan they're backing seems to have expereienced a resurgence in the polls.

In a survey released Monday afternoon, conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post, a majority of respondents said they favor the idea of a government-run insurer. 57 percent told the pollsters they support such a plan; 40 percent said they oppose it. The percentage of respondents who like the public option has ticked up slightly in recent months, from 52 percent in August and 55 percent in September. (The margin of error is plus or minus three points, so that change isn't statistically significant.)

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One other bit of encouragement for people who've been pushing the public option on Monday: Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who's been key to the reform process but has been very hesitant about supporting a public option, said of it, "this issue is alive." He also told reporters, "I just don't know if there [are] 60 votes for the most pure kinds of the public option. There may be 60 votes for the less pure kinds."


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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