Ben Nelson Uses The Washington Post's Lie To Argue Against A Real Public Option

Yesterday, I pointed out exactly how the Washington Post made a completely unprovable (and mostly likely false) statement in their paper. It now seems that Ben Nelson (D-NE) is using the Washington Post's lies to make his case against a real public option. The Post falsely claimed:
If a public plan were run by the states and available only to those who lack affordable private options, support for it jumps to 76 percent. Under those circumstances, even a majority of Republicans, 56 percent, would be in favor of it, about double their level of support without such a limitation.
Their polling data does not support this claim at all. First, they falsely assume everyone who supports the public option would still support an extremely watered down public option. They did not ask the question of everyone in the poll to see if 76 percent supported this watered down public option.

Second, the poll also added the “If the public plan were run by the states” clause to a poorly designed multi-part question. The exact same ABC News-Washington Post poll from a few months ago showed that restricting the public option “only to those who lack affordable private options” (without the "run by the state" clause) cause the support to jump to an identical 76 percent. One can only assume (because the Washington Post failed to properly poll) having the public option run by states had little to zero effect on support for the idea of a public option. It is almost as if the Washington Post were purposely trying to trick people into thinking that state-run public plans were more popular than a national plan.

TPM is reporting that Ben Nelson is now using this lie from the Washington Post to fight against a real national public option.
"Well, there are different kinds of public options.... What was interesting in the poll numbers that I saw, that while there's support for public option generally, generically, when you start talking about it specifically as it relates to states being able to opt out or opt in, have their own, the support overwhelmingly goes up to 76 percent."
The actual polling data simply does not support the claim that allowing states to run the public plans or opt out dramatically increase the support for the idea. I can't blame Nelson for believing what he read in the Washington Post. On the other hand, the Washington Post should be doubly ashamed of itself for misleading its readers. Now its lies are also being used to justify bad policy decisions.

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