Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Public Option More Popular Than Senate Plan In Key Democratic States

Polls conducted by the non-partisan Research 2000 show that in quite a few key states represented by Democratic senators, the public option is more popular than the Senate bill. The polls were commissioned by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and include these results:

• In Nevada, only 34% support the Senate bill, while 56% support the public option.
• In Illinois, only 37% support the Senate bill, while 68% support the public option.
• In Washington State, only 38% support the Senate bill, while 65% support the public option.
• In Missouri, only 33% support the Senate bill, while 57% support the public option.
• In Virginia, only 36% support the Senate bill, while 61% support the public option.
• In Iowa, only 35% support the Senate bill, while 62% support the public option.
• In Minnesota, only 35% support the Senate bill, while 62% support the public option.
• In Colorado, only 32% support the Senate bill, while 58% support the public option.

These findings should make it easier for Democrats to pass a health care bill through reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes, instead of the supermajority of 60 required under threat of a filibuster. They should also make it easier for the Democrats to include a public option, a government-backed insurance plan competing with private plans. Why, then, does President Obama's blueprint for a health care overhaul, unveiled Monday, not include a public option?

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