A new poll released Thursday shows that a solid majority of Americans favor the inclusion of a public health insurance option in healthcare reform legislation. 

Most were not confident, however, that the healthcare system will improve within the next 12 months.

60 percent of respondents said they would like a public option under any healthcare reform legislation, according to the latest Thompson Reuters survey. People were split down party lines on the question; 88 percent of Democrats favored the government-run plan as opposed to 57 percent of independents and 33 percent of Republicans.

The poll comes as a group of Democratic senators is set to propose an alternative to the existing "opt-out" public option due to fears that the current version cannot attract 60 votes to break a Republican filibuster.

The House passed its version of healthcare reform last month that includes a public health insurance option.

Those polled were not asked about specific forms of the public plan. 

The respondents, however, did not express hope that several key goals of healthcare reform will be accomplished within the next year:

- 18 percent of survey respondents said they expect to spend less on healthcare a year from now.
- 21 percent believe the quality of care will improve in the next 12 months.
- 18 percent believe the value of care delivered will be better in a year.
- 23 percent believe it will be easier for people to receive the care they need a year from now. 

Should the bill pass, several key provisions will not be immediately implemented. The public option will not take effect until 2014 under the existing language. 

The survey polled 2,999 households nationwide by telephone from Nov. 9 - 17. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.