Poll: Half of all Californians expect to lose their health insurance policies under Obamacare

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A Field poll found that over half of all Californians expect Obamacare to strip many people of their existing health insurance coverage.

While the Sacramento Bee emphasized popular support for the law in the state — 53 percent of respondents said they supported Obamacare and 38 percent were opposed — drilling down into the results shows some ambivalence.

According to the poll, 46 percent said it wouldn’t significantly change their health coverage situation. Slightly more Californians said they would be worse off (26 percent) than better off (23 percent).

Fifty-four percent said they believed individuals would be forced to change their coverage.

This is despite claims from President Barack Obama himself that under the Affordable Care Act, “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

A large number of Californian consumers will, in fact, have to change their health care plans once Obamacare is implemented in January. Several health care plans previously operating in California have declined to participate in the first experimental year of the Obamacare exchanges.

Aetna’s and UnitedHealth Group’s exit dropped the largest block of customers, numbering at least 58,000 individuals now forced to find new health coverage.

The Ventura County Health Care Program, a small county-based program, recently announced that it would not participate in the California exchange either, despite initial excitement about Obamacare’s prospects. Another 10,000 individuals currently covered by the insurer will have to find a new plan.

Mark DiCamillo, the poll’s director, said public approval of Obamacare in the liberal state is tied to political loyalties more than feelings about the law. “This law is just highly charged politically. People have their opinions on it and are pretty stable,” he said.

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Sarah Hurtubise