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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 05:26 PM ET, 10/19/2009

Balancing the government's role on health care

Health care reform's most controversial element - the creation of a government-sponsored insurance plan to compete with private health insurers - centers on the eternal Washington conflict that defines party lines on so many issues: How much of a role should the government play?

In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, views on the public option and on the level of government involvement in the proposed reforms are sharply divided along party lines. Here's a look at the crosstabs.

Q. Would you support or oppose having the government create a new health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

             -- Support ---   --- Oppose ---
             NET   Strongly   NET   Strongly
All          57       36      40       31

Democrat     77       55      19       12
Republican   26       10      69       57
Independent  57       34      42       33

Q. (IF OPPOSE/NO OPINION FOR GOVERNMENT PLAN) What if this government-sponsored plan was run by state governments and was available only to people who did not have a choice of affordable private insurance? In that case would you support or oppose this idea?

Combined initial support/state-run:

             ------- Support -------
             NET   At first   Now do   Oppose
All          76       57        19       23

Democrat     86       77         9       12
Republican   56       26        30       43
Independent  77       57        21       23

Q. Do you think the health care plan creates too much government involvement in the nation's health care system, not enough government involvement or about the right amount?

           Too much   Not enough   Right amount
All           42          21            34

Democrat      18          33            47
Republican    76           8            14
Independent   43          19            34

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  05:26 PM ET, 10/19/2009

Categories:  Post Polls, Post Polls | Tags:  government health insurance poll, public option poll, washington post poll

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