CA Voters Prefer the Ballot Box for Health Care Reform

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A new poll released today shows that California voters, concerned about the high cost of health care and the inability of the legislature and the governor to adopt meaningful solutions, prefer to make health care policy decisions themselves at the ballot box.

After vetoing four prescription drug reform proposals late last year, Governor Schwarzenegger recently announced a prescription drug plan that leaves most Californians without protections and relies on voluntary discounts from drug companies, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). Governor Schwarzenegger has received $367,200 in contributions from drug companies to his various fundraising committees.

“Californians have learned to distrust politicians, including Governor Schwarzenegger, when it comes to health care reform and the issues they care about most,” said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR. “This poll shows that voters see through the rhetoric of reform when the governor takes money from the same special interests he has promised to protect the public from.”

According to the Public Policy Institute of California:

* A majority (58%) of those surveyed think that voters — not the governor or legislature — should set health care policy; less than one-third (32%) think elected officials should lead the way.

* A majority (51%) of voters say they have little or no trust in state government to adopt meaningful solutions, but 55% say they have at least a fair amount of confidence in voters.

* Many (43%) voters say they are very concerned about being able to afford health care if a member of their family gets sick.

* Over three-fourths (78%) think that the initiative process has been a positive force for change in California and 61% believe that public policy decisions made through the initiative process are better than those made by the governor or legislature.

The poll is available for download at:

A Field Poll released today shows that approximately 40% of California voters think the governor is catering to special interests when he makes policy decisions, up from 27% in August. Fewer than half of those surveyed think that the governor is motivated more by the needs of the public.

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FTCR is the state’s leading non-profit and non-partisan consumer advocacy organization. For more information, visit us on the web at

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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