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Poll: MN voters back public option, not Senate health care bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 60 percent of Minnesota voters support a public health insurance option, while just 35 percent back the Senate health care bill, according to a Research 2000 poll released today.

The poll comes at a critical point in the health care debate, as White House and Congressional leaders, including Rep. John Kline, are meeting at Blair House in an effort to hash out a deal on health reform.

The poll’s results will be a boost to progressives like Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Keith Ellison, who in recent days have helped lead a resurgent campaign to advance a public option. More than 20 senators, Franken included, have signed on to a letter urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to hold a vote on the public option in the Senate using budget reconciliation rules, which would dodge an otherwise-likely filibuster and require only 51 votes to pass.

Research 2000 conducted the poll for a group of progressive organizations, though the pollster itself is generally considered fair and regularly partners with mainstream news outlets like the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Raleigh News & Observer and Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. For more on the poll, including crosstabbed results, click here.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/25/2010 - 09:16 am.

    If this poll, or any of the others commissioned by a “group of progressive organizations” had any validity, leftist legislators wouldn’t be quaking in their boots.

    Senator* Franken has a history of signing anything put under his nose, as illustrated by his “explaination” of how he could claim not to have known anything about the Gloria Wise kid’s charity scam that paid his salary at “Air America”, while his signature graced the settlement offer.

    The fact that only 22 other Democrat Senators chose to follow his example says everyting we need to know about the letter, and the poll.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 02/26/2010 - 10:28 am.

    In poll after poll of Americans, single payer universal health care has come up as the most favored way to make sure that we (1) do not deny ongoing care to any person and (2) we save kazillions of dollars.

    HR 676, the House single-payer bill that would save $400 billion per year (instead of COSTING over $5 trillion over 10 years) is never allowed to be considered because America is “not ready” for it. Hogwash and horsefeathers promulgated by politicians that, sadly, include a president who still seems to think he can find common ground with opponents of reform who will vote for no bill despite any efforts to woo them.

    Hogwash, horsefeathers and the power of lobbyists working for insurance companies and drug companies and other members of the medical “industry” continue to rule Washington.

  3. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 02/26/2010 - 11:45 am.

    II’m happy to see an updated poll that 60% of Minnesotans are still in favor of single payer. The hysteria on the right that “the American people don’t want this,” is just another of their lies. Baucus kicking single payer advocates out of hearings and arresting them says it all.
    Who’s running things? Not us. Clearly it’s the insurance and pharmaceuticals. We have to get our voices heard over the shouting of these rightwingers. I have written and called Klobuchar a couple of times but she is still on the fence, apparently (I didn’t know we elected a “moderate” to the Senate until far too late.) Maybe enough voices pro public option would get her to stand up and be counted among the Democrats.

  4. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 02/26/2010 - 11:45 am.

    Bernice Vetsch
    I’m always happy to see your informed and reasonable comments.

  5. Submitted by William Pappas on 03/01/2010 - 08:28 pm.

    A public option and even single payer have always polled between 60 and 70%. That’s just a fact and whenever you hear a conservative say “the American people don’t want a public option or government run health insurance” they are telling another lie. Every small businessman I talk to has a unique tale of another horrendous situation the private for profit health insurance industry has placed them in. Small businesses want to get rid of their health insurance mandate. They don’t want to enlarge it! Single payer or a public option would answer the prayers of many American businesses overburdened with the cost and expense of acting as health insurance professionals. That’s just the facts.

  6. Submitted by Joel Jensen on 03/02/2010 - 03:52 pm.


    First, what matters most is who conducts the poll, not who pays for it – especially for professional survey groups like this whose business is based on reliability.

    Second, polls conducted and funded by all sorts of groups all across the political spectrum have found solid support for a public option. See an analysis of some here:

    Third, the legislators quaking in their boots are the ones using every parlimentary trick in the book to prevent an up or down vote on this option and health care reform in general – those who know they are in the minority and still want to rule. (Much like Sen. Bunning’s one-person veto of unemployment and COBRA subsidy extension.)

    The count of Senators saying they will vote for a public option (for example the option contained in the House HCR bill) using the majority rule-reconciliation process is now up to 33 (so far without a good number of strong public option supporters in the Senate).

    The fact that the health insurance companies oppose a public option because it would provide competition to their bloated business models and reinsert some “free” back into the health insurance “market”, combined with the fact that these health insurance companies are part of the only industry (other than major league baseball) exempt from federal antitrust laws that protect the competitiveness of free markets in America tells us quite a lot about why they oppose it.

    The people want it, but big health care insurance companies don’t.

    It comes down to who Congress represents, us or them.

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