Field Poll Shows Support Slipping for Two Health Propositions

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(David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
(David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

A new Field Poll shows voter support dropping for two propositions on the November ballot.

Prop. 45 would give the state insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive rate hikes. Support has dropped from 69 percent early in the summer to 41 percent in the current poll. Twenty-six percent are opposed and 33 percent are undecided.

Prop. 46 would require drug testing of doctors and increase the cap on pain and suffering awards in medical negligence lawsuits from $250,000 to $1.1 million. Early this summer, support stood at 58 percent; today it is 34 percent, with 30 percent opposed and 29 percent undecided.

"This current poll is relatively big news on Prop. 46. I don't think its chances of passage are all that great," Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo told the San Francisco Chronicle. He added that it's harder to predict what might happen with Prop. 45.

The opponents of both propositions are spending big to defeat the measures.

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From the Chronicle:

Prop. 45's leading supporters, including the state's insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, and the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, have been largely outspent by the major health insurers and other companies. According to campaign reporting figures, the backers have raised just $450,000 as of Sept. 9 while opponents have spent $24 million to kill it.

Prop. 46's detractors, physicians and medical malpractice companies, have contributed $59 million to persuade voters to reject the measure while its supporters have spent a comparatively paltry $4.5 million.

The poll was conducted from August 14-28, and included 467 voters considered likely to vote in the November election. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.