California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Poll: Most Residents Support ACA, but Few Think It Will Help Them

Fifty-three percent of California residents support the Affordable Care Act, but only about 25% of residents believe they will be better off under the law, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California, KPCC's "Represent!" reports (Stoltze, "Represent!" KPCC, 9/25).

The telephone survey of 1,703 California residents conducted between Sept. 10 and Sept. 17 covered various health-related topics (PPIC poll, September 2013)

ACA-Related Findings

The poll found that 56% of respondents who currently lack health insurance coverage support the law ("Represent!" KPCC, 9/25).

According to the poll:

  • 40% of likely voters do not think the ACA will make a difference for them or their families;
  • 34% of likely voters expect to be worse off under the ACA; and
  • 26% of likely voters believe that they will be better off under the ACA.

Findings Related to Prison Population Reduction

Meanwhile, the survey found that 50% of likely voters support a compromise plan by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers to reduce overcrowding of the state prison population (Olson, AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/25).

Earlier this month, Brown signed the compromise plan (SB 105) to curb the prison population.

Under the plan:

  • Brown agreed to ask federal judges for a three-year extension to comply with the population cap;
  • 2,500 state inmates will be sent to county jails, community correctional facilities and a private prison in the state;
  • No additional prisoners will be sent to out-of-state facilities; and
  • Funding for prisoner rehabilitation efforts will increase by $100 million beginning July 1, 2014. 

On Tuesday, a panel of federal judges rejected Brown's request for an additional three years to meet the reduction standards, but granted California an additional four weeks to meet the cap.

Tuesday's ruling gives the administration until Jan. 27, 2014, to comply with the order (California Healthline, 9/25).

According to the survey:

  • 47% of state residents are very concerned about the potential for releasing prisoners early to meet the population cap; and
  • 31% of state residents are somewhat concerned about such a possibility.

About 40% of residents are confident that local governments could handle the responsibility of housing transferred inmates in jails, the survey found ("Represent!" KPCC, 9/25).

Medical Marijuana-Related Findings

According to the poll, 52% of state residents are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, while 60% of likely voters support it.

In addition, about 70% of likely voters said the federal government should not enforce federal medical marijuana laws in states where the drug is legal (AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/25).

For more information on the poll, check out yesterday's "Capitol Desk" post.

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