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A new Field Poll finds silly Californians still buying into Obama healthcare premise

Button Obama LaughingAccording to a new Field Poll out this morning, California voters still love President Obama's massive healthcare legislation that is being challenged in Congress and in courts by a majority of the 50 states. Or 57, by candidate Obama's count.

The new Field Poll reports fully 52% of California voters support the thing, compared to 37% who don't.

Contrary to voter opinion nationally (46% unfavorable, 42% favorable in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll) and the threats of House Republicans to repeal or disembowel it, 52% of California voters think the controversial bill should be left alone or -- better yet -- expanded in its reach into American lives.

A measly 40% of California voters favor repeal all or parts of the law, according to the new Field Poll.

To address the Golden State's multibillion-dollar fiscal woes, its newly elected officials have ostentatiously cut state workers' cellphone access, with stapler and paper clip purchases possibly on the cutting block too.

But these officials have proven unable to cobble together a realistic ....

... government budget without a zillion dollars of deficits or -- wait for it -- new taxes, seeing as how most California residents are paying a mere 10% sales tax already. The Democratic governor's budget plan, which makes sense to some California minds, was to ask state voters to renew $12 billion in once-"temporary" taxes.

With the Obama administration now budgeting in three-week cycles, only three wars underway abroad and state unemployment having plummeted to 12.2%, what confident California voter wouldn't enjoy clinging to previously hiked taxes?

In a wondrously creative California sense, it's also perfectly logical that nearly 2 out of 3  California voters (60%) believe that their Democratic state government, which can't craft an annual budget either, would, however, do a swell job of implementing the Obama measure.

That bill was so well-written by a Democratic Congress led by a Californian House speaker that officials have already had to grant more than 1,000 discretionary exemptions to unions and companies that cannot meet its goals without whacking existing healthcare coverage.

Field says of California voters:

Large majorities believe the state will be able to achieve many of its main goals, such as expanding state-sponsored health programs to enable more low income residents to have health insurance, providing residents with more insurance choices, and regulating the insurance market so Californians have better consumer protections.

California voters, many of whom have no purple hair or nose rings, are famous for leading the way in pioneering political and cultural activities and/or for beiBarack and Michelle Obama arrive at another White House party, fileng totally out of step with the rest of the country that does not slather mayonnaise on every conceivable edible object.

Moments after Obama took the oath of office and promised to close Guantanamo's terrorist detention facility 804 days ago, his job approval began its terminal slide down to the current mid-to-low 40s.

This could be good enough for reelection, unless the Republican Party nominates someone.

But no trouble for Obama in California, which has two Democratic senators and a Democratic retread as governor. California voters still strongly support the Democratic president too.

Which is why those residing around San Francisco and the City of Angels will see so much of Obama in the next 582 days, as he visits and re-visits to milk supporters for a large chunk of the $1 billion he's planning to spend trying to persuade Americans who don't wear sunglasses year-round to think like Californians, who do.Obama Hawaii Bobblehead

Nearly 8 in 10 California voters, Field finds, actually still hope Obama's healthcare bill will be at least somewhat helpful in providing additional insurance alternatives. Think Cubs fans.

The poll does not report how many of its California voters were smoking medicinal marijuana when surveyed. But poll director Mark DiCamillo explains the state's political disparity by noting that views on Obama's healthcare are starkly partisan nationally; and way more California voters are Democrats than are Republicans.

Independents, who are abandoning Obama nationally like Kadafi aides catching flights to London, are in California sticking more with the U.S. president's plan to change healthcare, 48% to 33%.

DiCamillo also explains support for the law by citing the most populous state's "large and rapidly expanding ethnic voting population" -- now about one-third of California voters -- as being much more supportive of Obama's government health plans than white non-Hispanics.

Somehow, this all makes many insular California voters feel like farsighted pioneers instead of outrageously outmoded outliers.

As proof of their foresight, many California voters are already preparing colorful baskets of organic veggies to leave out for the Easter bunny later this month.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Andrew Malcolm; Pete Souza / White House; Christie D'Zurilla.

Comments () | Archives (7)

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Geez, Andrew, don't get your panties in a wad just because the majority of Californians aren't buying the "sky is falling" preachings of the right wing.

In fact, I am somewhat amazed that after more than a year of virtually unchallenged Republican attacks on the new health care law, more than 40 percent of Americans still support it. And, as provisions of the law continue to kick in, that approval rate is bound to rise.

stevefromsacto: How could you possibly think people will welcome a healthcare plan whose expense adds to our deficit at a time when we are in a financial crisis?

Maybe you think California's spend, spend, spend will play on a national scale. There is no way the majority of Americans will support this huge expense and no way they will support one more program structured so that politicians can perform their slimy act of handing out special dispensation for their cronies.

If I were you, I would insist on expense cutting in California - meaningful cuts, not token cuts. Because I can tell you that most Americans do not like the politics of California, the governing as though there were no tomorrow, or the lifestyles of the most visible Californians, and are in no mood to see their taxpayer dollars go to California for a bailout. There will be no bailouts for states because most Americans do not support the profligate spending of undisciplined states, and the hurt is coming in a big way for Californians. And some of us will say you earned it - in a most headstrong way.

Americans are not stupid. But they are Ignorant

I just came back from Thailand in January where, for the fifth year in a row, I got a complete physical: Blood work, EKG, carotid echography test, Upper and Lower abdominal ultrasound, chest Xray, Cardio Stress Test, Urinalysis, Stool Examination...all for $400!!!
Just the Stress Test alone would have cost $3000-$4000 in the US. The blood work alonge would have eaten up the $400

Americans are getting ripped off by the health care profession and the sad part about it is that they are blissfully ignorant about how expensive their "free market" health care system is. Everyone in health care here wants to make a bundle: Doctors, Insurance Companies, Drug Companies, hospitals. It's all about protecting their own industry and overcharging to increase profits.

In Thailand hospitals post their costs for everything from a colonoscopy to heart bypass surgery so you can compare the cost at different hospitals. That's how the free market is suppose to work, right.

But here in the US You won't ever find a price list by any doctor or hospital in the US. Go ahead. call your local hospital and see if you can get a price list for a colonoscopy, and EKG, an X-ray, even the daily cost of a hospital room. Good luck. It's all very secret. You can't compare or shop for better rates. The US medical profession doesn't want any comparison shopping that would force doctors and hospitals to compete with each other on price. And no price advertising PLEASE!!!

In Thailand they have the option of a public health care system that is free for everyone and a private system that provides better service and more options if you are willing to pay for it. The private option is still ten to fifteen times cheaper than in the US because the public option forces it to be competitive in order to woo patients. In the US there's no choice. No public. Only and overly expensive private system.
Two years ago I had a condition called Esophageal dysphagia. The throat doctor in my hometown in California said he could fix the problem for $2500 in his office. I went to a Thai PUBLIC HOSPITAL (used my US passport as ID) and had the surgery done for $100...including the doctor and the anesthesiologist and a biopsy. Try to find that in the USA!!!!

Want to prove me wrong. Go ahead, google any Thai hospital in Bangkok , email them and ask them to tell you how much it would cost to have, say, heart bypass surgery. They will be more than happy to email you a quote. Now try that with your local hospital and watch them give you the run around.

Hey stevefrom need to get out more...the delusional view of the "majority of Californians" does not recognize that this once great state is dying and they just keep helping it along.

Koolaid drinkers, that "60%". We'd all love to see who is in that poll... Small business owners are running for the hills, literally. The 'majority' as the writer puts it, are The Problem in this state. Too many people glomming on to the free stuff and not enough of us are left to adequately pay for it.

Unfortunately, the MD's and really the insurance carriers (I know that will surprise some, but look it up) are not making 'obscene profits' as the president and others accuse them of doing. Left out of that discussion are the lawyers and what they take. Insurance carriers and MD's are forced to give away much of what they use to earn in profit to comply with non-payers and network markdowns, respectively. Again, look it up. 3-5% profit is not obscene... Free insurance is

Obamacare may or may not be a good way to go. BUT, the economics of the health care system have been bad for a long, long time, long before Obama. Something needs to be done. The way hospitals, doctors, medical diagnostic labs, drug companies, medical device makers and other "providers" bill is like something from outer space: They start out by billing astronomical amounts in the first round. Then, if there is insurance, they readily knock down the price to rates negotiated by the insurance companies, often down by more than 50%, sometimes even more. The insurance companies can do this because they have the medical expertise to challenge the nonsensical billing put out by the "providers" on the first round. This simply proves that the notion of "customary and reasonable" charges is absolute garbage. The problem is made worse by artificially high demand for Cadillac medical care driven by federal tax subsidies (exclusions and deductions). In 2008, John McCain and the Republicans proposed eliminating the tax exclusions and deductions. But they did this only in response to Obama's proposals in 2008. Until then, all the Republicans could think of doing was mouthing the simplistic mantra about the "free market". Anyway, by 2008, it was too late for McCain's sensible idea about repealing the tax exclusions and deductions. So now, for better or worse, we have Obamacare. If the Republicans are serious about repealing it, they will have to come up with something better than the mantra to"let the free market to its magic" --magic which is a myth, as everybody who has ever dealt one on one with insane billing of the medical providers knows all to well.

What is this article supposed to be? It seems like the author just made a list of flyover country stereotypical snarky comments about Californians and inserted some political stuff.
I'm wondering, why is this in the LA Times, and why anyone here would want to read this? It seems better suited some periodical Californians don't read or care about.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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