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NBC poll: Plurality opposes public option

From NBC's Mark Murray
The question of whether or not the eventual health-care reform legislation will include a public/government option to compete with private insurers has dominated the health-care debate over the past two days.

And according to a brand-new NBC News poll, 47% of Americans -- a plurality -- oppose the public plan, versus 43% who support it. That's a shift from last month's NBC/WSJ poll, when 46% said they backed it and 44% were opposed.

In a follow-up question explaining the benefits and disadvantages associated with a public plan, 45% said they agreed with the description -- by supporters -- that it would help lower health-care costs and provide coverage for uninsured Americans.

But 48% sided with opponents who say a public option would reduce access to their choice of doctors, and would lower costs by limiting medical treatment options.

Tune into Nightly News, or click onto MSNBC.com, for the full results of the poll at 6:30 pm ET.

The poll was conducted Aug. 15-17 of 805 adults. It has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points.