21 June 2009

You guys know we're not voting on this, right?

So very many polls being run on the "public option" I almost feel like we're back in mid-October again.  Still, the results are pretty encouraging for those of us who are in favor of a real public plan being included in the reforms.

For example, the NYT/CBS Poll shows strong support for the public plan being included as an option:

With people even being willing to pay higher taxes for it!  That's a first.

The NBC/WSJ poll gives fairly similar results, with 76% of respondents agreeing that a public plan option is "Quite important" or "Extremely important," which I would assumes indicates support.  In this poll, however, people are less willing to pay higher taxes to accomplish this.  The Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows about 67% support for a public option.

When I'm looking at polls, I tend to look to none other than our friend Nate Silver at 538.com for analysis.  He's got a great rundown of all the polls, other than the NYT one which was released after he went to press.  The summary is pretty encouraging:

Nate also breaks down each of the polls in terms of their reliability and potential bias.

The consensus seems to be that a public plan -- at least the option -- is pretty popular.  I think this is fed not so much by an active desire of people to be insured by the federal government, but by general antipathy towards private insurance companies.  I also suspect that although people who currently have insurance are generally happy with their coverage, the prospect of a guaranteed fall-back option is attractive to those who have worried about losing their insurance.

Hopefully the Democrats in DC who are wavering about the inclusion of a public plan (I'm looking at you, Max Baucus) will take some heart from this level of support, find some resolve, and get the job done.


  1. Oddly enough, the NYT/CBS poll only had 29% McCain voters. As far as statistical sampling is concerned, the GIGO principle holds, making this poll suspect -- and I am being charitable with my choice of word.


  2. Nate Silver (I think) also pointed out that the self-identified republican component was smaller than expected. But even controlling for that, given that the GOP level of support was 50%, and the corrected support for the public plan was still very high.

  3. The public plan option grows more important to more people daily. Losing a job that provided health insurance, more reports of health insurance companies paying bonuses to the minions that retroactively rescind or underwrite policies to save on paying out expensive claims, personal bankruptcies driven by medical bills, the difficulty in obtaining private health insurance if you have chronic conditions, all the administrative bs (for pts and physicians), the hefty salaries and huge bonuses paid to ibsurance company executives, the insurance companies' setting up banks and venture capital funds, the phony UCR data peddled by conflict-of-interest UnitedHealtc subsidiary Ingenix, EMTALA qbuse, McAllan TX, et al.. And jokers like Max Baucus still don't get it? Ay caramba.


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