Today Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) claimed today that the public option will not pass the Senate because the public is not in favor of it. Lieberman said the public option is off the table because the Senate can’t get 60 votes for it. He also went on MSNBC and said, “Yes, I mean a government-run health insurance plan. The public doesn’t support it.”
Here is the video courtesy of Think Progress:
Lieberman made the claim that the public option is not attainable, “The question is, are people going to continue to fight for elements that are not attainable or are they going to try to find common ground?” Host Andrea Mitchell asked him if he was referring to the public option. Lieberman replied, “I mean — yes, I mean a government-run health insurance plan. The public doesn’t support it. They know that, ultimately, taxpayers will pay for it. They don’t want us to add to the debt. They feel that the existing system, private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, does pretty well.”
Lieberman is lying. A new Survey USA poll released on Thursday found that 77% of Americans support having the choice of a public option. A majority of people in the conservative state of Kentucky favor a public option. A New York Times poll showed 72% support for the public option, and an NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll showed support at 69%.
As you can see from all of the polls listed above, public support is definitely strongly in favor of a public option. The problem is that the health insurance industry is not in favor of a public option, and they spending millions of dollars to convince members of the Senate to drop the public option. Lieberman was correct when he said that there aren’t 60 votes for the public option, but he was not telling the truth when said that the public does not support the public option.