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No Public Option – No Democrat Support

From Rasmussen:

Without Public Option, Enthusiasm for Health Care Reform, Especially Among Democrats, Collapses

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just 34% of voters nationwide support the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats if the so-called “public option” is removed. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 57% oppose the plan if it doesn’t include a government-run health insurance plan to compete with private insurers.

Last week, Rasmussen Reports tracking found that support for the Congressional plan was at 42%.

While the tracking question did not specifically mention the public option, it referred to the bill proposed by the president and congressional Democrats now working its way through Congress. All of the congressional committees that had passed reform legislation included a government health insurance plan. Therefore, it is reasonable to compare those results with the current polling to measure the potential impact of dropping the public option.

The most dramatic impact is a sharp decline in enthusiastic support. Without the public option, only nine percent (9%) Strongly support the legislation. The earlier poll found 26% Strongly in favor of it.

That enthusiasm gap is especially significant since the percentage of those opposed to the legislation has consistently been higher. Last week’s poll found 44% Strongly opposed to the reform legislation. If the public option is dropped, 37% remain Strongly opposed.

The other dramatic shift can be found in the partisan dynamics.

Without the public option, just 50% of Democrats support the legislation. That’s down from 69% support measured a week ago. But here the enthusiasm gap is especially strong. A week ago, polling found that 44% of Democrats Strongly favored the reform plan. Without the public option, just 12% of Democrats Strongly support it.

Minus the government insurance option, 68% of Republicans remain opposed to the plan, down from 79%.

As for those not affiliated with either major party, 70% are opposed if the public option is dropped. That’s up from 62% in the previous survey.

Rasmussen Reports will be tracking overall support for the legislation again next week.

These results suggest that the president has difficult choices ahead. A solid majority of unaffiliated voters are opposed to passing health care reform legislation with or without the public option. However, failure to pass a plan of any kind could create additional difficulties for the president, and a plan without the public option does not have the enthusiastic support of his base. This helps explain why, according to the New York Times, senior Democrats are considering going it alone on the reform plan without trying to get any Republican support for it.

Other recent Rasmussen Reports polling highlights the underlying political challenges. Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters favor a single-payer health care system. These voters make up a heavy majority of those who favor passage of health care reform. They view the current legislation as a baby step along the way to a single-payer system. Most Americans oppose a single-payer system and are seeking reassurance that the current plan will not head in that direction.

Overall, when it comes to health care decisions, 51% fear the government more than private insurance companies while 41% hold the opposite view.

Most Americans support the concept of reform, but cost control is seen as the most important aspect of reform. Also, voters simply don’t believe the legislation will deliver the benefits that its advocates claim. Few believe it will increase patient choice or make health care affordable. In fact, most voters believe the passage of the current health care reform effort will lead to higher costs and lower quality of care.

The health care reform debate has helped push Obama’s job approval ratings in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll to new lows.

Just in case anyone thought that any of that talk about doing away with the public option is really going to happen – except perhaps on paper.

(Thanks to Pat for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “No Public Option – No Democrat Support”

  1. Liberals Demise

    Just because we don’t want it and are vocal about it doesn’t mean these “No Scruple” holders in congress and the senate won’t stab us in the back and side with the “Traitor in Chief”.
    Noooooo ……. they know that they are better than us and know far more than we will every possibly know.
    I can’t think of a better reason to continue the purge………push their buttons!!

  2. proreason

    “Without Public Option Freebies, Enthusiasm for Health Care Reform, Especially Among Democrats, Collapses”

    To maintain accuracy in Steve’s records, I’ve changed the headline.

  3. Right of the People

    Unfortunately most of the CongressCritters will probably “vote their conscience” when it comes to this. We need to flush these 535 bozos and start over.

  4. Liberals Demise

    Too bad we can’t impeach the whole lock, stock and barrel of them!!

  5. electionhangovervictim

    Ok, don’t roll your eyes when you read my question…I’m genuinely confused and my google searches on the subject matter haven’t helped to clarify anything for me. Maybe I just need to hear it in layman’s terms from one of my fellow patriots.
    So, what is this “public option” exactly and why are the dems angry that it’s being dropped? Is that referring to individuals’ choice to maintain insurance? Meaning people won’t be forced into gov’t run coverage if they don’t have private insurance? As a teacher once told me, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. Thanks in advance for not laughing too loudly.

    • pdsand

      The public “option” is a government-run insurance plan made available to “compete” with private insurance plans. The liberals are mad because the public option consitutes socialized medicine which is the goal.
      It’s all a ruse however, something like brer rabbit saying ‘please don’t throw me in that briar patch’. The “co-ops” that would replace the public option are just the public option by another name. So for democrats to get mad that the public option was replaced with the insurance co-op is all for show.

    • proreason

      The “public option” is the libwits’ latest euphamism for government-run healthcare.

      In the current formulation, they are pretending that it will be a benevolent competitor to privately-run health plans. In theory, that might be possible. As it’s designed, it will drive private plans out of business within a few short years. Reasons include: the government gets to set whatever fees it wants to pay….do ya think that might be a bit of a competitive edge? (note: there are many other reasons besides that one).

      In the “NEW !! IMPROVED !!!!!” version, they call it a “co-op”, with the expectation that people will be fooled into equating it to cuddly farmer coops, or even better, to credit unions, both of which theoretically operate without profits. In reality, the government will continue to dictate the terms of the plans and the reimbursement schedules, so it will do exactly the same thing as the “public option”, under a more lovable name.

      Whatever they call it, it’s the socialization of medicine. And so far, in the hundreds of times it has been tried, socialism has always failed as an economic system vs capitalism.

      The reasons for that are many, but the easiest one to understand is that capitalism is constantly adapting to the market. Even if governments wanted to do that, they can’t, because they are absolutely bound by whatever the law is. And since there is no competition for the government, bureaucrats have no reason to improve the service. They can’t even imagine better service. Witness, the Post Office vs UPS. The fact that the Post Office doesn’t make a profit doesn’t prevent it from being a horrible 3rd choice to UPS, Fedex, and many other smaller private businesses.

    • electionhangovervictim

      “The public “option” is a government-run insurance plan made available to “compete” with private insurance plans.”
      Ok, that’s honestly what I thought…which is why I became confused. I thought that was the whole point of this legislation, so I started to question myself…”well, if they remove the gov’t run insurance plan, then what’s the point of the bill? So maybe public option doesn’t mean what I think it means.”

      Damn them for confusing me!

      Thank you for your explanations.

    • proreason

      “if they remove the gov’t run insurance plan, then what’s the point of the bill?”

      a. they aren’t removing it. They are renaming it and putting new hubcaps on it.
      b. they won’t remove it.

      Health Care could be reformed with numerous simpler and less-risky methods. For example, they could pass a law that forces insurers to accept pre-existing conditions when someone changes plans without a break in service. Or they could pass a bill limitting medical malpractice awards to 2x estimated lifetime care costs.

      But they couldn’t care less about reform. If they did, then they would take the simpler, cheaper, safer, more popular, smarter, more likely to improve service approach. That’s the reason we KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that it isn’t about better Health Care for Americans. It’s about expanding government power.




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