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Health Care Reform: Americans WANT a Public Option!

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A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll (taken September 29 through October 1, 2009) found a majority of Americans prefer that Congress pass a Democrat-only health care bill that includes a public option over a bipartisan bill that does not. In other words, over half the country would prefer Congress pass health legislation that includes a strong public health insurance option that is supported only by Democrats, to a bill with no public option that has the support of Democrats and a handful of Republicans.

Wile it’s true that other polls have found majorities prefer a bipartisan bill, previous polls asked only “Do you want a bipartisan bill, or a partisan one?” without explaining that a bipartisan bill might not contain a public option. This latest poll made this political fact clear. So when Americans are asked whether they’re prepared to sacrifice the public option for the sake of having a bipartisan bill, the majority said No. So, it seems no matter what the media are saying, the American people have made it clear they want a strong public health insurance option.

This finding holds true for most Democrats and many independents; 87% of Democrats and 47% of independents place greater importance on achieving a public option than on bipartisanship. As far as the majority of Americans are concerned, any bill that passes without a public option is nothing but more ineffectual tinkering with a broken system. Blue Dogs take note!

The views and opinions expressed by Perspectives contributors are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the American Nurses Association, the Editorial Advisory Board members, or the Publisher, Editors and staff of American Nurse Journal. These are opinion pieces and are not peer reviewed.

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