Public option health plan regains its luster

For a while there, Mr. Public Option, it looked like you were down and out, on your way to being completely forgotten as a relic of different times. Now, all of a sudden, the public seems to want you back--and if Congress hears them, you might be back to stay.

A new Washington Post-ABC poll suggests that support for the public option--and for a mandate requiring all Americans to have coverage--are both looking a lot better to the public than they did even a few months ago. All told, it found that 57 percent of Americans favor the public option while 40 percent are against the idea.

Not only that, the groups that like the idea the best include independents and senior citizens, both of whom are important players in this discussion. Those groups seem especially supportive of the public option if it was administered by the states and limited to those who can't afford private coverage.

That being said, respondents aren't necessarily happy with the health reform package as a whole. Only 45 percent favor the general outline of the plans traveling through Congress, while 48 percent are opposed to the overall approach.

To learn more about this research:
- here's the poll
- read the accompanying ABC News and Washington Post pieces

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