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Public Option Remains Popular; Health Care Reform, Not So Much

photo: Steve Rhodes via Flickr

photo: Steve Rhodes via Flickr

A new Quinnipiac poll shows support for a public option remains strong, even as Senate Democrats look to kill the idea:

[V]oters support 56 – 38 percent giving people the option of being covered by a government health insurance plan, compared to 57 – 35 percent November 19.

The public option has managed to maintain its strong majority support among the American people even after having one of the longest and most expensive political campaigns in recent history waged against it. The public option’s enduring support in the face of big money opposition is a testament to idea’s broad, common sense appeal.

Unlike the public option, however, support for the overall bill seems to be falling fast. Voters disapprove of the health care reform proposal currently under consideration by a margin of 52-38. I expect there is a correlation between these two numbers. At the same time it became increasingly clear that Democrats were thinking about removing the very popular public option from the overall bill, support for the overall bill started going down fast.

This really is not rocket science. Should anyone (expect maybe Congressional Democrats) be shocked that if a very popular idea is removed from a bill, the overall bill will quickly end up less popular? Removing the public option might seem to Harry Reid like a necessary tactical move, but it looks like it is a terrible political move for the Democratic Party as a whole.

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Public Option Remains Popular; Health Care Reform, Not So Much

A new Quinnipiac poll shows support for a public option remains strong, even as Senate Democrats look to kill the idea:

[V]oters support 56 – 38 percent giving people the option of being covered by a government health insurance plan, compared to 57 – 35 percent November 19.

The public option has managed to maintain its strong majority support among the American people even after having one of the longest and most expensive political campaigns in recent history waged against it. The public option’s enduring support in the face of big money opposition is a testament to idea’s broad, common sense appeal.

Unlike the public option, however, support for the overall bill seems to be falling fast. Voters disapprove of the health care reform proposal currently under consideration by a margin of 52-38. I expect there is a correlation between these two numbers. At the same time it became increasingly clear that Democrats were thinking about removing the very popular public option from the overall bill, support for the overall bill started going down fast.

This really is not rocket science. Should anyone (expect maybe Congressional Democrats) be shocked that if a very popular idea is removed from a bill, the overall bill will quickly end up less popular? Removing the public option might seem to Harry Reid like a necessary tactical move, but it looks like it is a terrible political move for the Democratic Party as a whole.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com