Don’t take it from us — here’s what others say….

A bunch of interesting public opinion polls have come out recently, so I’ll summarize a few of the key points from them here.

PPIC released a poll Thursday showing that 72% of Californians think the state’s health care system is in need of major changes. (Take THAT Blue Cross!) Voters, however, are a little less confident that the guv and Legislature will be able to broker a deal (49%).

Another interesting point: 72% of voters support the guv’s idea to require residents to have health insurance. From my previous readings, I actually thought voters weren’t really hot for such a mandate….but I’m wondering if it’s the WAY the question was posed that evoked that response.

The question, verbatim, was: “Would you favor or oppose a plan requiring all Californians to have health insurance, with costs shared by employers, health care providers and individuals?”

Lastly, a SURPRISING number of Californains (73%) said the US should provide health coverage to all children, even if it would require higher taxes. Hopefully Congress and Bush, who are in the process of giving the State Children’s Health Insurance Program way too little money hear that.

Poll #2 out of Massachusetts: The Kaiser Family Foundation found that two-thirds of Massachusetts residents polled supported the new law, though support dropped to 57 percent when asked about the individual mandate — which would penalize those that didn’t buy coverage.

The most interesting piece of this poll to me was the part asking about affordability of the plans for people forced to buy coverage on their own without subsidies.

Scenario 1 37-year-old single adult, earning $42,000. The plan:

  • Costs $259 a month
  • Has a $1,500 deductible; $5,000 maximum out-of-pocket
  • Allows 3 doctors visits at $25 a year (the rest would be full-price)
  • After the deductible is met, 20% co-insurance
  • Generic drugs $15, but brand name drugs would be 50% co-insurance.

62% of respondents said this plan was “unfair;” 58% said it was an unreasonable amount; 62% said this person would remain vulnerable to high medical bills.

The piece about affordability is key as we in California consider what is reasonable and fair for people to pay. The governor’s plan requires a $5,000 deductible and $10,000 maximum out-of-pocket for someone earning $26,000. Looking at what people think in Massachusetts, the super-majority of people would say that’s unaffordable.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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