There may not be enough support in the Senate for a public option, as Finance Committee chair and health industry plaything Max Baucus contends, but according to a new poll, a growing majority of Americans wants one. President Obama says he won’t fight for the option, which may be why Democrats are losing faith in his handling of reform (according to the same poll).

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll says 57 percent of Americans want a public option, up five points from August. The figure was even higher — 62 percent — in June. That means that at the absolute nadir of support, when the public option was pronounced dead, most Americans still wanted it. How’s that for democracy?

Other polls show falling support for the Democratic health reform agenda, with a slight majority of Americans opposing it. The Baucus bill, which nixes the public option, has been front and center during this time.

Let’s do the math: Support for a public option is going up while support for the Democrats’ plan is going down. Here’s hoping Harry Reid, who is charged with merging the Senate bills (and possibly deciding the fate of the option), takes notice. Here’s hoping he cares. Reid is the No. 1 Senate recipient of health industry donations this cycle. — PZS


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