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.
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