A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Americans dramatically prefer a Democratic-votes-only bill with a public option compared to bipartisan bill without one:
Faced with a basic strategic choice that soon may confront the administration and Democratic congressional leaders, a slim majority of Americans, 51 percent, would prefer a reform plan that included some form of government insurance for people who cannot get affordable private coverage even if it had no GOP support in Congress. Thirty-seven percent would rather have a bipartisan plan without such a choice. Republicans and Democrats are on opposite sides of this question, with independents preferring legislation with a public option and without Republican support by 52 to 35 percent.
What is very important is that the same poll found 57 percent of Americans support a public option. Only a very tiny minority of Americans (roughly 6%) support the public option but think Democrats should give it up to win the support of a few Republican senators like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. The results on this question are very similar to previous poll by Research 2000.
The message is clear. Outside the beltway, regular American don’t put much value on bills getting some “bipartisan” votes. What the majority of Americans want is real actions which can improve their lives. . . like the public option. People care about results, not process.