Is the public option dead?

The Countdown on MSNBC reported some interesting poll numbers about the attitude of voters regarding the support for health care reform, a public option and what’s motivating Republican opposition.

One question in the CBS News/New York Times poll asked the interviewee if they thought the GOP was opposing health care reform because they truly believe it’s bad for the country, or rather, if Republican Senators and Representatives are motivated by political reasons.

New York Times/CBS New Poll September 2009

New York Times/CBS New Poll September 2009

Forty-three percent of Republican voters believe that the GOP is driven to oppose reform for political reasons. Eighty percent of Democrats believe that.

The poll also shows that 49 percent of Republican voters believe the GOP truly thinks reforming health care reform is bad for the country.

And despite that, 80 percent of Democrats think Republican politicians are only interested in playing politics with health care reform, 54 percent think Democrat members of Congress should seek a compromise with Republicans.

New York Times/CBS New Poll

New York Times/CBS New Poll

While it’s never wise to put too much faith in a poll, this one appears to show that Republican voters are seeing through the rhetoric of GOP member of Congress and Democrats remain in a clueless fog of denial.

Regarding a public health care, 47 percent of Republican voters support it, and 11 percent haven’t even made up their mind yet. The question for members of Congress up for election next year is whether they can get re-elected by opposing a viable public option or not.

New York Times/CBS New Poll

New York Times/CBS New Poll

And the question for voters is whether they think simply tweaking the current employer-based private for-profit health insurance system is all we need to do to drive down the cost of health care. Or if real reform that includes a stronger role for government to keep health care from bankrupting the country is a must. We shall see.

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