Support for healthcare overhaul reaches all-time high in new poll

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Support for President Obama’s healthcare overhaul is at an all-time high in California, according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California.

The survey, released Wednesday, found that 55% of Californians back the changes to the nation’s healthcare system under the federal Affordable Care Act, up 8 percentage points since last March.

The Legislature gaveled in a special session on healthcare this week, pushing forward with sweeping proposals to help California implement the law, which will require most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty next year.

State lawmakers are racing to pass rules for enrollment in a new state-run insurance market in October, including a requirement for insurers to cover consumers who have preexisting medical conditions. They are also moving to dramatically expand Medi-Cal, the state’s insurance program for the poor.


According to the PPIC poll, there is a partisan divide.

An overwhelming majority of Democrats support the healthcare overhaul (76%) while Republicans are firmly opposed (78%). Independents are split.

Support among Latinos (70%) is far higher than among whites (43%).

Notably, nearly half of Californians say it won’t make a difference in their lives. A quarter say they will be better off while 23% say they will be worse off. Those without health insurance are more likely than those with coverage to say they will be better off.


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-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento