A majority of the state's voters support extending current health insurance programs to all low-income Californians, including undocumented immigrants, according to a new statewide poll released Monday.
The poll was commissioned by The California Endowment, a foundation that has been actively working to expand health insurance access to all people, regardless of immigration status. The Affordable Care Act expressly bars undocumented immigrants from receiving any of its benefits, including subsidies to purchase health insurance.
In the poll, 54 percent of those surveyed said they support covering the undocumented. Support was strongest among younger voters as well as Latino respondents and African Americans.
Those surveyed were also asked about specific aspects of the policy approach. Total support for those issues were as follows:
- 86 percent: support important access to preventive care to reduce overall health costs and prevent spread of disease
- 69 percent: support ensuring that working undocumented immigrants can purchase affordable health insurance
- 56 percent: support expanding Medi-Cal, the state's version of Medicaid, to undocumented residents
- 54 percent: support making subsidies to purchase Covered California plans available to working undocumented immigrants. Covered California is the state's Obamacare marketplace.
In conducting the poll, the California Endowment retained two polling firms, FM3, which generally handles Democratic campaigns, and GS Strategy Group, which generally handles Republican campaigns. The stated goal was to reflect the perspective of both parties. In breakdowns by party, liberal and moderate Republicans had strong support for access to preventive care and ensuring that undocumented immigrants can purchase affordable health insurance.