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Public supports a public option

A public health insurance plan appeared dead two weeks ago, but both House and Senate Democratic leaders announced this week that their reform bills would include the option. The comeback may be fueled by opinion polls showing that a majority of the public wants a public option. Fifty-seven percent of Americans favor a public insurance option, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. Support among doctors is even higher — 63 percent favor giving patients a choice that would include both public and private insurance, according to a survey released last month. Overall, however, the public is still divided on the health care reform bills in Congress, with 45 percent favoring the broad outlines of the proposals and 48 percent opposed.