EDITOR'S NOTE: The story below includes references to polling conducted by the firm Research 2000. The reliability and accuracy of Research 2000's polling has since been called into serious question by a report published in June 2010 by a group of statistical analysts.
A new poll suggests that voters are not pleased by the idea of health insurance mandates without a public option or a Medicare expansion.
Conducted by Research 2000 for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and Democracy for America (DFA), the survey finds only 33 percent of likely voters favor a health care bill that does not include a public health insurance option and does not expand Medicare, but does require all Americans to get health insurance. Slightly more Democrats -- 37 percent -- favor the idea, while only 30 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of independents do.
Meanwhile, if the public option and Medicare buy-in are added, 58 percent of people support the idea. The number of Republican supporters drops to 22 percent, but independent support rises to 57 percent and Democratic support to a whopping 88 percent.
"This poll shows voters in full-blown revolt against the Senate bill," said PCCC co-founder Stephanie Taylor. "Only one-third of voters support mandates without a public option, while nearly two-thirds want the public option and Medicare expansion. This will be a disaster of epic proportions for Democrats in 2010 if it's not fixed -- fast."
The same poll found that the White House message that the bill provides 30 million uninsured people with coverage is not selling. Only 36% of respondents thought requiring uninsured Americans to buy health insurance, and giving some people subsidies to help afford it, was the same as providing coverage for those 30 million.
Another recent poll commissioned by the PCCC and DFA found that one third of Democrats are less likely to vote in 2010 if the health care bill does not contain a public option.
Working off these results, the PCCC has a petition out urging Senators Russ Feingold, Bernie Sanders, Roland Burris, and Sherrod Brown to "stand strong and block any 'compromise' without a strong public option." Over 65,000 people have signed so far.