FERTILE GROUND…. Republican talking points dictate that government having a role in the healthcare system is, by its very nature, horrifying. As President Obama kicks off a White House summit on healthcare today, it appears most Americans don’t find the GOP’s argument compelling at all.

Seventy-two percent of those questioned in recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say they favor increasing the federal government’s influence over the country’s health care system in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans, with 27 percent opposing such a move. Other recent polls show six in 10 think the government should provide health insurance or take responsibility for providing health care to all Americans. […]

The poll also indicates that health care is tied as the third most important issue for President Obama and Congress to deal with over the next year. Forty-eight percent said dealing with health care was extremely important, tied with education and trailing only the economy and terrorism as the most important issues.

When it comes to controversial areas of public policy, 72% of Americans don’t agree on much. But this poll, among others, shows that nearly three out of four are looking for the government to play a larger role over the healthcare system.

The Republican talking points may need a tweak. The minority party and the public aren’t on the same page on this issue at all.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.