Survey: Support for Health Reform Strong in Bay Area
An overwhelming majority of Bay Area residents support health care reform, with fewer people supporting a state-run, single-payer system than an overhaul of the current employer-based health insurance model, a new survey finds, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The Bay Area Council, a policy group supported by businesses, plans to release the survey findings on Monday. Field Research conducted the poll between Jan. 8 and Jan. 14 and included responses from 600 Bay Area residents (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/5). The margin of error was plus or minus four percentage points.
According to the survey:
- 83% of respondents supported guaranteed health insurance coverage;
- 79% said guaranteed coverage should extend to all state residents;
- 47% supported reworking the employer-based health insurance system and having the state, businesses and individuals share additional costs;
- 34% supported a state-run, single-payer health insurance system; and
- 11% said market-based reform strategies would be most effective.
The survey did not specifically ask respondents about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) health care reform proposal or coverage for undocumented immigrants (Steffens, Contra Costa Times, 3/5).
Schwarzenegger's health care reform plan "is a mess," and its chances for being enacted are questionable in part because of its reliance on increased federal funds and likely increase in costs to the state, a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial states.
Moreover, the editorial states that "overwhelming evidence" shows that the proposal would violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a federal law that limits state requirements for employer-sponsored benefits. The Union-Tribune's editorial board writes that all ERISA experts it has interviewed supported that conclusion, noting that the governor's administration did not provide the board with the name of an independent ERISA lawyer who believes the plan is legal (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/4).