Rep. Eric Cantor Falsely Claims Americans Oppose A Public Health Insurance Option

October 08, 2009 10:32 am ET

During an October 8, 2009 interview on CBS' The Early Show, both anchor Maggie Rodriguez and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) promoted the false claim that Americans do not want a public option.  In fact, recent polls make it clear that Americans are in favor of health care reform that includes the creation of a public option.

Rep. Cantor Misrepresents The Will Of The People

Maggie Rodriguez: Do you think that it would behoove Democrats, as Karl Rove suggests in his op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal today, to give up this fight for health care reform because it's facing growing opposition or face the same fate that they faced in '94 when they lost control of Congress?

Rep. Cantor:  Well, Maggie, what I think would behoove us all in this country is to see if we in congress could try and work together for a change.  You know, in the house, as you know, the bill that will make its way to floor will most likely have what Speaker Pelosi continues to insist is a public option.  You know, that has been resoundingly rejected by the American people.

The Majority Of Americans Support The Public Option

65% Of Americans Support The Public Option.  According to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, 65% of Americans favor "the government offering a government administered health insurance plan - something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get - that would compete with private health insurance plans." Only 26% of respondents said they were opposed to such an option.  [New York Times/CBS News poll, 9/19-23/09]

Huffington Post: "Three Out Of Four Physicians Nationwide Support Inclusion Of A Public Option." Huffington Post wrote: "A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) study published in Monday's New England Journal of Medicine shows that 63 percent of physicians support a health reform proposal that includes both a public option and traditional private insurance. If the additional 10 percent of doctors who support an entirely public health system are included, then approximately three out of four physicians nationwide support inclusion of a public option. Only 27 percent support a private-only reform that would provide subsidies for low-income individuals to purchase private insurance." [Huffington Post, 9/14/09]

Despite What Rep. Cantor Says, The Republicans Have Repeatedly Refused To "Work Together" For Bipartisan Reform

Sen. Chuck Grassley: "I take pride with being an obstructionist." [Politico, 7/6/09]

Sen. Chuck Grassley: "I don't think it's going to be possible to work it out with the administration." [Grassley Teleconference, 8/25/09]

Sen. Chuck Grassley: "The only way to get a bipartisan agreement is to defeat a Democratic proposal." [Radio Iowa, accessed 9/9/09]

Sen. Jim DeMint: "If we're able to stop Obama on [health care reform], it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." [ABC News, 7/20/09] *AUDIO*

Sen. Jon Kyl: "I don't think a single Republican in the Senate would support either of those bills." [Fox News, 8/20/09]

Sen. Jon Kyl: "I think his concern about having almost all Republicans opposing that kind of approach is a valid one." [Politico, 8/18/09]

Rep. Steve King: "I think it's time to really slow down or stop the negotiations with the Democrats." [Spencer Daily Reporter, 8/25/09]

Sen. John Thune said he "cannot foresee any Republican votes in the Senate for any healthcare bill." [Roll Call, 8/25/09]

Rep. Tom Cole: "I'd like to see the Democrats go home and get pounded on."  [The Hill, 7/22/09]

Rep. Roy Blunt: "Our bill is never going to get to the floor, so why confuse the focus? We clearly have principles; we could have language, but why start diverting attention from this really bad piece of work they've got to whatever we're offering right now?" [The Hill, 7/22/09]