As the health care debate rages on at Capitol Hill and the Baucus Bill continues its way through the legislative process, the American people are still on hold waiting to see if their coverage will ever improve. The Washington Post and ABC News released their latest poll this week and it shows improving numbers for Democratic health care initiatives. According to the Washington Post/ABC News poll, 57% support a public option being added to the Baucus Bill, while 40% disapprove. This is a 2% increase from last month, but still a 5% decrease from its highest numbers in June. But here begins where the poll numbers become interesting…
Now this 57% public option approval rating is probably not news to you…it has been published and discussed in or on every major news outlet. But I find the follow-up question more interesting and it’s getting minimal coverage. For the next question, pollsters revised the standard public option question and asked “What if this government-sponsored plan was run by state governments and was available only to people who did not have a choice of affordable private insurance? In that case would you support or oppose this idea?” 76% supported a state-run public option, to 23% dissenting. Within this high approval number, 55% support comes from conservatives – one of which being myself. This “weaker” version of a public option gets super majority approval by the American public, and majority approval from conservatives, yet it is never discussed as viable option. Instead the Democrats looks to ram the public option in despite the impracticability of making it affordable.
Other interesting figures from the latest poll:
- Obama’s personal approval number also increased to 57% from 54% a month ago.
- Despite his high personal approval rating, when asked about his policies, none reach above 57% and his handling of health care and the federal deficit are below 50%
- If given the option of a federal public option or a bi-partisan bill, 51% would support a federal option to 37% for a bi-partisan bill.
- 56% support a mandatory coverage clause, up from 51% a month ago.
- 43% think a health bill would weaken Medicare (18% strengthen it; 31% think no effect).
- 53% consider themselves Democrats or lean Democratic, while 39% consider themselves Republicans or lean Republicans.
- However, 38% consider themselves conservative, 36% moderate, and 23% liberal. Just goes to show there is truth in the belief that the conservative label is stronger than the Republican one at this time.