WP Healthcare Shocker: Public Opinion Unchanged

The Washington Post reports today (10/19/09)on its new poll on healthcare reform. The headline is straightforward enough: “Public Option Gains Support: Clear Majority Now Backs Plan.” But it’s not clear there’s much news here.

The public option has 57 percent support in the new poll. In the last poll (one month ago–9/10-12/09), it got 55 percent support. As the story points out further down, support was at 62 percent before all the town halls. It’s a reminder that while the media have given a whole lot of time to critics of public insurance options in general, the public remains surprisingly supportive of the concept.

But it’s even more important to remember that the last time the Post wrote uptheirpoll results (9/14/09), they seemed eager to stress the unpopularity of the public option. Just look at the headline: “Reform Opposition Is High but Easing: More Support if Public Option Dropped.”

Apparently the two-point swing in the poll means a lot; something supported by 57 percent of people is popular, while the same thing supported by a mere 55 percent should be jettisoned.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.