Support for Three Health-Related Ballot Measures Exceeds Opposition
Measures to address prescription drug prices are supported by "substantial margins" of California voters and a measure requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortions is ahead by "a relatively slight five-point margin," according to a Field Poll released Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee reports (Furillo, Sacramento Bee, 6/23).
The survey is based on a random sample of 955 California residents, 501 of whom said they likely will vote in the Nov. 8 special election. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points (Hubbell, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/23). According to the San Jose Mercury News, the survey is the "first of several polls" expected before the special election (de Sa, San Jose Mercury News, 6/23).
Respondents were read the text of the propositions as it will appear on the ballot but were not told the sponsors of the measures.
The survey found that 57% of likely voters supported a measure titled "Prescription Drugs; Discounts," while 26% opposed it (Marelius, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/23). The measure, supported by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, would ask drug makers to provide voluntary discounts to state residents whose annual incomes do not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level (California Healthline, 6/16).
According to the survey, 48% of likely voters supported the competing measure, titled "Prescription Drug Discounts; State Negotiated Rebates," and 33% opposed it (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/23). Under this proposal, pharmaceutical manufacturers would be required to provide discounts on drugs for some state residents or face exclusion from Medi-Cal (California Healthline, 5/4).
Health Access California, an advocacy group, and a coalition of labor groups support the measure (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/23).
The survey found that 48% of respondents support a measure to require parental notification before abortions for minors, while 43% oppose it and 9% are undecided (Chorneau, AP/Fresno Bee, 6/23).
Under the measure, physicians would be required to notify a parent or guardian 48 hours before they perform an abortion on an unmarried minor. In addition, the Department of Health Services would be required to maintain detailed records of abortions performed on minors, although the records would exclude names. The measure also would impose civil penalties on individuals who coerce a minor to have an abortion (California Healthline, 5/17).
According to the survey, 51% likely women voters favor the measure, compared with 46% of likely men voters. Opposition to the measure was "nearly evenly split" with 42% of women and 43% of men opposing the measure, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reports.
The survey also found that 71% of Republicans, 74% of political conservatives, 57% of Christians and 59% of voters who are not college graduates strongly supported parental notification. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats, 60% of political liberals, 61% of residents affiliated with non-Christian religions or have no religious preference and 55% of college students opposed the measure (Palm Springs Desert Sun, 6/23).
The Field Poll is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the report.