Californians Cite Health Care Reform as Priority in Poll
Health care is the No. 3 priority for California residents, although fewer than half of Californians now believe that state lawmakers will approve a health care reform plan this year, according to a new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.
About 8% of respondents cited health care as their top priority, following immigration at 25% and the economy at 11%.
The poll found that 70% of respondents support provisions of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) health care reform proposal that would require all state residents to have health insurance, while distributing the cost of expanding coverage among the state, employers and health care providers.
However, the percentage of poll respondents who believe that lawmakers will approve a health care reform plan this year dropped from 62% in January to 49% in June.
The telephone survey was based on responses from 2,003 state residents from June 12-19. The margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points (Geissinger, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 6/28).
Sacramento Bee columnist Daniel Weintraub cites additional findings about health care from the PPIC poll, noting that such findings "suggest that the issue is not going to go away."
If California lawmakers do not approve a health care reform package this year, interest groups likely will seek to qualify an initiative for the 2008 ballot, according to Weintraub. He concludes, "And with voters inclined to support universal coverage, a proposal to overhaul the health care industry would start with a significant amount of political good will" (Weintraub, Sacramento Bee, 6/28).