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New Poll: Only 16% of Californians Support Mandatory Purchase of Private Health Insurance; 71% Behind Regulation of Premium Increases
Date:1/16/2008

Potential Costs To Consumers Key Factor In Voter Opposition Compared To Other Polls

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Less than one in five California voters (16%) support legislation, backed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, that requires proof of private health insurance when they are told they might have to pay some of the premium costs, according to a new poll.

Overall, nearly two-thirds (63%) were opposed to the legislation when told insurers had no limit on how much they could charge. Only one-in-three (32%) supported the mandatory purchase plan even if insurers' premiums were regulated by the state.

The results demonstrate that majority support expressed by Californians in other polls for "requiring nearly all Californians to have insurance" collapses when voters are told that they would have to pay premium costs if their employer does not fully pay or they are not eligible for government subsidies.

Read the full results of the poll at http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/hcpoll.pdf.

"When confronted with the unmistakable reality that they may have to pay health insurers for premiums, voters strongly oppose mandatory private health insurance," said Jamie Court, a director of the Campaign For Consumer Rights, which paid for the poll. "Cost to the consumer is the key detail that the Governor and Speaker have failed to be forthcoming about. Voters view having insurance very differently from having to buy it from private health insurers."

Consumer advocates recently wrote to legislators explaining how the costs to consumers under the Nunez/Schwarzenegger proposal. Read the letter at http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/KuehlLetterOpposeABX1_1.pdf.

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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
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