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August 18, 2009

Shift....NBC Poll: Plurality Now Oppose Public Option. Democrats Double Down On It UPDATE: Sebelius Gets Back On Message

Looks like the town halls are taking a toll on public support.

The question of whether or not the eventual health-care reform legislation will include a public/government option to compete with private insurers has dominated the health-care debate over the past two days.

And according to a brand-new NBC News poll, 47% of Americans -- a plurality -- oppose the public plan, versus 43% who support it. That's a shift from last month's NBC/WSJ poll, when 46% said they backed it and 44% were opposed.

Congressional liberals meanwhile are demanding that a public option be a part of any deal.

A group of left-leaning House Democrats tells POLITICO that a bill without a public option simply wont win enough votes in their caucus a sentiment that raises fresh questions about the prospects to enact sweeping health care reform this year.

A bill without a public option wont pass the House, said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a member of Energy & Commerce Health subcommittee. Not only are they weakening their proposal, but they are also weakening their hand. This is legislative subtraction by subtraction.

Gibbsy is scrambling to walk back Sebilius' walk back and blames the media for an "overreaction" to her comments.

Even folks like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann are growing dissatisfied with what they perceive as Obama's surrender on not only a public option but single payer.

Maddow:

[W]hen you have a weekend like that, its no real surprise when Monday turns out to be a great day for health insurance stock prices. We got here through a collapse of political ambition, and the resultant downgrading of expectations for this once-in-a-lifetime, stars-aligned political shot at fixing this system [W]hy is the public option dying now? Its dying because of a collapse of political ambition. The Democrats are too scared of their own shadow to use the majority the American people elected them to in November to actually pass something they said they favored.

I actually watcher her an Olby last night and their despair and disappointment with Obama were palpable. And tasty. I enjoyed it so much I almost watched Olbermann's rerun at 10pm. I think I'll save that ritual as a treat should the whole thing go down in flames.

Oh, a nice tall glass of schadenfreude? Yes, yes I'd love another.

UPDATE: Sebelius...We've always been at war with East Asia. What would make you think otherwise?


"All I can tell you is that Sunday must have been a very slow news day, because here's the bottom line: absolutely nothing has changed," she said. "We continue to support the public option that will help lower costs, give American consumers more choice and keep private insurers honest."

Sebelius said a public option would work "side-by-side" with private insurers, to "[provide] choice in markets that are often dominated by one insurance company."

Right. That's why everyone on the left and right went nuts about her statement.

Now, she may have misspoken, floated a trial balloon or let out the administration's Plan B but her statement was most definitely not business as usual.

How's it feel to be under the most famous bus in the world madam secretary?

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posted by DrewM. at 12:26 PM

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