Another Huge Poll: 72% “Fringe” Supports Public Option


This is for you, Joe Scarborough. Yet another poll shows ridiculously high support for a public health insurance option.


The rest of the poll is rife with the kinds of contradictions that arise from the gap between what people want, and what they are willing to do for it. What a surprise, for example, that a poll of people who 89% of have health insurance think that health care reform is too focused on insuring the uninsured, as opposed to controlling costs. As if insuring the uninsured does nothing to control costs.

To be clear, I think polling is irrelevant to whether the public option is a good idea. The public can be idiots. I mention it because the public option is a good idea, and since the public supports it so overwhelmingly, there’s no good reason for the Democrats not to pass it.


  1. Okay Tommy, I’ll bite.

    Let’s look at that exact question you highlight:

    “In any health care proposal, how important do you feel it is to give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance?”

    Now, the answer depends on the context which which the respondent hears the question.

    (I am ignoring the standard “people ALWAYS vote for choice no matter the question” observation this time…)

    The context of this question is a matter of timing. The average working-class stiff has just done his annual enrollment in the company-provided health care plan, and guess what!?! There weren’t very many options.

    You have Big-spender plan, Medium-spender plan, and Roll-your-own HMO plan. *IF* and only *IF* you are lucky to have that much decision power!

    Damned straight I’d like to have more options — and if that means a Public option than so be it!

    Maybe it would have been more enlightening to find out how many options these respondents are currently aware of.

    Maybe it would be helpful to ask them if they would like to have:
    – three employer-provided options
    – three employer-provided options and one public one
    – dozens of private options

    The poll question is pretty screwed, because it ASSUMES the only way to get more choice into people’s hands is if the government is a provider.

    Get rid of the artificial state-line boundaries that limit competition, and see how attractive it looks then. Add that concept to the equation, and see if 70+% holds up.

    The bias is baked right in… but I wouldn’t expect anyone at MSNBC to be able to see beyond that limited political bubble and identify it.

  2. You site no particulars about this poll. Who conducted it where, when, what sample size, demograpgics on sample, nothing. This is nothing. Since you publish it and imbue it with false significance, you must be a lying, twisting, obfuscating weasel.

  3. Charlie, you broke the rules! Since you didn’t curse, I’ll let it slide, please go read them.

    As for your comment, I linked to the full poll. Click away.

  4. Gee, Tommy… and to think that I politely referenced specific items in the linked survey, and did so without boorish behavior.

    What is my punishment?

    Oh, and you are an @$$.

  5. Wait, why am I an ass? What the eff?

  6. I don’t really think you are an @$$, Tommy. I just got a so excited about your Rule #5 about encouraging cursing, that I went ahead.

    I guess I should have read #6 first… 😉

  7. Ha! I wouldn’t necessarily dispute that, just wondered why.

  8. What rule did Charlie broke..? You mean, he should have cursed you..? and BTW, rule #5 does not include “foreign born” as a protected group… so… does that mean is open season on me..? Please advice…

  9. Charlie violated rules 2 and 6. Plus, he was just wrong, but that’s not against the rules. Foreigners are welcome.

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