Health Care: Why Is A Public Option Considered Controversial?

Filed in National by on June 22, 2009

There are new polling results out from the New York Times that show an overwhelming majority of Americans support a public, Medicare-like option for health care reform. In bad news for Republicans, only 18% trust Republicans to reform health care while 57% trust Democrats. According to this poll even a majority of Republicans want a public option. What are we waiting for?

Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector.

The question was worded “Would you favor or oppose the government’s offering everyone a government-administered health insurance plan like Medicare that would compete with private insurance plans?”

All: 72% favor, 20% oppose, 7% undecided
Republicans: 50% favor, 39% oppose, 11% undecided
Democrats: 87% favor, 9% oppose, 4% undecided
Independents: 73% favor, 22% oppose, 4% undecided

This is a huge majority of people. I sure hope Democrats can find a spine to get real health care reform. I’m getting a bit tired of the Congress thwarting the will of the people. A public option for health care is not controversial! People are not buying the status quo defenders scare tactics about wait times and protecting the profits of those poor, put-upon health insurance executives.

Just a reminder to please contact your friendly local Congressional representatives and let them know you want real health care reform.

Representative Mike Castle
Wilmington Office
201 N. Walnut Street, Suite 107
Wilmington, DE 19801-3970
p: 302.428.1902
f: 302.428.1950
Dover Office
300 South New Street
Dover, DE 19904
p: 302.736.1666
f: 302.736.6580
Georgetown Office
p: 302.856.3334
Washington Office
1233 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
p: 202.225.4165
f: 202.225.2291

Senator Tom Carper <--- key committee member Washington, D.C.
United States Senate
513 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2441
Fax: (202) 228-2190
301 North Walnut Street
Suite 102L-1
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 573-6291
Fax: (302) 573-6434
300 South New Street
2215 Federal Building
Dover, DE 19904
Phone: (302) 674-3308
Fax: (302) 674-5464
12 The Circle
Georgetown, DE 19947
Phone: (302) 856-7690
Fax: (302) 856-3001

Senator Ted Kaufman
1105 N. Market St.
Suite 2000
Wilmington, DE 19801-1233
tel: (302) 573-6345
fax: (302) 573-6351
24 NW Front St.
Windsor Building Suite 101
Milford, DE 19963
tel: (302) 424-8090
fax: (302) 424-8098
Washington D.C.
383 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
tel: (202) 224-5042
fax: (202) 228-3075


About the Author ()

Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (8)

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  1. jason330 says:

    50% of Republicans still think of themselves as Americans first and Republicans second.

    That is a good thing.

  2. PBaumbach says:

    Because we have too many idiots like Tom Carper in DC.

  3. cassandra_m says:

    That is pretty much it, I think. Legislators way more interested in those who finance their campaigns rather than those who vote for them. It is interesting to me how many Democrats — especially Senate ones — who are perfectly comfortable to live in a permanent crouch. Except when there are damaging tax cuts or fraudulent war resolutions to vote on. There’s toxic DNA here that needs to be excised, I think.

  4. Are Democrats finding a spine? I never thought I’d say this, but hooray for Sen. Schumer.

    From Washington Monthly:

    Schumer has not always been a consistent progressive champion, but by all appearances, he’s showing some real leadership on this issue right now. To his credit, Schumer even rejected the co-op proposal gaining steam among Republican and “centrist” Democrats: “I don’t think I could say with a straight face that this (co-op proposal) is at all close to a nationwide public option. Right now, this co-op idea doesn’t come close to satisfying anyone who wants a public plan.”

    What’s more, the recent polls are giving Schumer a hand in pressing his colleagues: “The polling data backs up our subjective view that to make health care reform work, you need a public option.”

    Democrats, quit being suckers! Give the people what they want.

  5. Geezer says:

    Tom Carper is a big-hearted guy. Unfortunately, he’s never met a business person whose sob story about lost profits will fail to move him.

  6. Dorian Gray says:

    Commie bastards. It’s socialistic bullshit like this that will ruin this great country. It was this kind of thinking that doomed the Russkies… It will likely also soon doom the Germanskis, the Franceskis, the Japaneskis, The Swedskis, The Britonskis, The Canadaskis, The Norwegianskis… all dirty reds.

  7. jim center says:

    I hope you’re all calling your reps?
    This week I got to ask Castle’s girls, “Why didn’t he support the troops and vote for the Supplemental?”
    Comedy ensued.
    Here’s a piece of a Daily Kos post we can use to talk to Tom about his “govt run health care”.

    End The Socialist Congressional Health Care Plan!

    It’s time to repeal health care benefits for members of Congress. The insurance industry can’t compete with the coverage provided by we taxpayers to Congress. It drives private insurers out. Not only that, but for the government to be in the business of providing health insurance to anyone smacks of socialism. Socialism is bad. It posits that what’s best for people is more important than what’s best for business. And we all know that such an attitude is Un-American.

    We shouldn’t be putting government between Congresspeople and their doctors. It’s not the best way to expand coverage. We should keep government bureaucrats out of the medical decision-making process, and preserve the doctor-Congressperson relationship. We need private market reforms, with a public system at best only a safety net. Anything else is a government takeover. And once Congress understands the meaning of the public option for Congresspeople, the votes won’t be there to keep it. So, we must abandon it.

  8. Jim,

    I love the idea. If our useless reps in Congress can’t get a program with 75% support passed, they deserve to have to shop around for their insurance.