October 27th, 2009
04:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Polls: Rise in public support for government option

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushes for a health care reform bill that includes a public option, national polling suggests a rise in support among Americans for a government-financed plan that would compete with private insurance.

According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday, 48 percent of those questioned favor a public option, with 42 percent opposed to such a plan. That's a 10-point swing from August when 47 percent were opposed and 43 percent in favor.

The NBC/WSJ survey joins two polls released last week, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation and ABC/Washington Post, that also indicated a jump in public support for a government option.

"The latest CNN poll found that support for the public option grew most among independents, who were essentially split on that proposal in August but supported it by a 61 percent to 38 percent margin in October," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But one group - senior citizens - still oppose a public option proposal, and their opposition has barely budged between the summer and fall."


The NBC/WSJ survey suggests that more than seven in 10 Americans feel it's important to give people a choice of a public option, with less than one in four saying it was not that important or not important at all.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted October 22-25. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: CNN poll • Harry Reid
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Cathy Reid

    To anyone who says they can not afford the public option, this is my response–you must have very good insurance and it does not cost you much, therefore, you could give a crap about anyone who may not be as fortunate as you.
    Try thinking about someone besides yourself for a change. The shoe might be on your foot. So try putting other, at least up you, if you can

    October 27, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. David

    Liberman has turned to the GOP to filibuster the healthcare with public option in it or not.. Insurance companies must be paying him to vote against so they are protected and still continue raising rates on every American's premiums and the number of uninsured will continue to rise so Health Care Industry continues to satisfy Wallstreet and shareholders of the HealthCare Industry.

    October 27, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. T

    I'll be sure to re-consider my opposition to the public option as my pregnant wife and two sons are waiting in line with thousands of other people this weekend waiting for a vaccination that we'll probably not be able to get. Hmmmm . . . is this what I want when I have a broken arm, too? Health and Human Services has completely dropped the ball on the H1N1 vaccinations, as large bureaucratic agencies often do. Ok, so let's create another one and give it a lot of control. Some change needs to happen, but create another pork-laden, inefficient, black hole government agency, no thanks.

    October 27, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Angus

    I support the Public Option..the PUBLIC should PAY THEIR OWN WAY! I am tired of those who refuse to work, who refuse to better themselves, who keep having kids out of wedlock, who have the "entitlement" attitude that has been bred into them since the days of the so-called "Great Society" of LBJ's , and yet they keep on wanting MORE....and the Democrats gloss this over with a pathetic ploy to get more votes by "giving" the people who support them "free" healthcare...while those of us who DID do our best, worked hard, and continue to do our best are expected to pay their costs? WHEN will all the Koolaid drinkers open their eyes and see what is REALLY up with this? This is exactly what Obama and his cronies want...income redistribution....no wait..thats NOT Socialist, is it?

    October 27, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Bob

    There is no reason why we don’t have a free health care system for everyone. The rich is only complaining about it so we should have a universal health care system for everyone. The people in Florida have a right to protest and if I have to be the one to make it nationwide I will. The insurance company is a crock who is only for the rich. Why can’t we be more like France with a universal health care system? Do I have to run for president to make this happen, tell that monkey to do something right and stop jerking off. I was all for Obama in the begging, but apparently he just like every other Politian and only cares about his money.

    October 27, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. Joe in Vega$

    One of the things that really bothers me about the opposition against the Public Option, is that those who oppose like to scream and shout and how their moral outrage (my Dad is one them) meanwhile he and many others are going broke because of their health problems.

    I know good and well that many of these noisy opposers who are losing their shirts are secretly crossing their nasty little fingers that this public option passes.

    October 27, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Maureen - NC

    For those of you who want a "public option", who is paying for it? There is no way that Medicare cuts are going to cover the price of this plan. Medicare is about to go broke as it is.
    I think everyone deserves health care, these plans are not for health care, they are more about taking over insurance. The gov't has not done such a great job with Social Security, Post Office, etc..... how are they going to do right by us on this?????

    October 27, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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