A poll released today found that a majority of California registered voters believe government subsidized health coverage should be extended to the undocumented population in the state.
According to the poll, which was funded by The California Endowment:
- 54% of all respondents favored extending Medi-Cal and Covered California coverage to all low-income people in California, regardless of immigration status;
- Communities of color and younger voters strongly supported coverage, with roughly 69% of Latinos and 68% of African Americans, along with 68% of 18- to 29-year-olds, being in favor of extending coverage; and
- After hearing arguments for both sides, support rose slightly among respondents, up to 56% support for the idea.
“California has led the nation in expanding access to care and now we have an opportunity to continue that by finishing the job of Obamacare,” said Daniel Zingale, senior vice president at The California Endowment.
Zingale said there has been academic and research support for health care coverage for all people in California, but that legislators have shied from the issue a bit.
“Part of what’s been missing has been the political will,” Zingale said. “Economists have agreed for a long time about the net gain for the society. But there’s a lot of mythology out there.”
That wariness now does not seem to be a public sentiment, however, he said.
“We wanted to get a sense if that [resistance] is changing, and indeed, I think that’s the most important thing in this poll is the trend line,” Zingale said. “The new majority of Californians of color are strongly for this.”
Add in the growing number of younger voters in the state, he said, and you have a more compelling reason for lawmakers to back the idea.
“We hope the survey would deliver a vision of where California can go,” Zingale said. “For us this is a long-term commitment, and we hope this poll serves to bump some myths around attitudes toward coverage.”