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Valley Public Radio Staff
Mon August 20, 2012
California Voters' 'Strong Support' for Federal Health Law Grows, Field Poll Suggests
California health leaders say they’re ‘heartened’ with a new Field Poll that suggests state voter support for the federal health law is getting stronger.
More than half of California voters polled said they support the health overhaul. More showed ‘strong support’ for the law than in the past two years. Thirty-seven percent of Californians oppose the law.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley says she was struck by the partisan nature of the findings.
“I think a lot of people confuse health care delivery run by the government, and health care coverage provided by the government, because one of the most essential aspects of the Affordable Care Act is that it is built on a market economy. It is not government-run health care, it is not socialized medicine.”
An overwhelming majority said they hadn’t heard of the California Health Benefit Exchange, the online marketplace where people will soon be able to buy insurance. But most people said buying online would be helpful. Peter Lee directs the Exchange.
“We are not going to be doing Exchange enrollment efforts by party. We need to make sure that people recognize, if you’re a small business, I don’t care if you’re a – you know – a member of the Communist party, or the Republican party or the Democratic party. We want everyone to get their small business people, all their employees, enrolled and insured.”
More than half of those polled said they saw the law as a first step towards other needed changes in the health care system.