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October 5, 2009
Americans would rather keep their insurance rather than have a public option
That's the finding of a new Rasmussen survey that shows Americans like the insurance plans they have now and that if they had to choose between that and a public option, they would vote to keep their insurance by a wide margin:
Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters nationwide say guaranteeing that no one is forced to change their health insurance coverage is a higher priority than giving consumers the choice of a "public option" health insurance company.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 29% take the opposite view. They say it's more important to give people a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option.
Most liberal voters say giving people the choice of a public option is more important. But most moderates put guaranteeing that no one is forced to change their health insurance first, and conservatives overwhelmingly agree with them.
Currently, 53% of insured voters say it's likely they would have to change their health insurance coverage if the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats becomes law. That helps explain why 54% of voters believe that the health care system needs major changes, but just 41% support the comprehensive reform proposed by the president.
Interestingly, when you uncouple the two issues and simply ask if the respondent supports a public option, a plurality say yes:
The first question finds that 46% favor the creation of a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option that people could choose instead of a private health insurance plan. Thirty-seven percent (37%) are opposed. Obviously, coupling the two issues should spell the death knell of the public option. But the administration keeps denying that employers will opt out of insuring their employees if the opportunity granted by a public option presents itself. This bit of dishonesty may yet get some kind of public option through Congress.
The second question asked about the creation of a public option if it encouraged companies to drop private health insurance coverage for their workers. Given that possibility, support for the public option falls to 29%, and opposition rises to 58%.