POLITICS: Prop 72, Califorina’s pay or play, looks good for now

California voters haven’t seen much yet about the pay or play bill that Prop 72 represents. However, when read the text of the propsition over the phone by the LA Times‘ pollsters, 51% say they like it, while only 29% oppose it. Of course the advertising to beat it back will commence shortly, with an array of fast-food joints out to defeat the bill, which was passed by the legislature and signed by Gray Davis, as he was being kicked out the door last year. The Times’ story is quite interesting:

On the healthcare coverage referendum, 51% of likely voters said after hearing the ballot description that they would support it, while 29% said they were opposed and 20% undecided.Business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce and the restaurant industry, placed the referendum on the ballot hoping to overturn a law passed last year that would require businesses with more than 50 workers to provide healthcare coverage or pay into a state fund created for the same purpose.Because the measure is a referendum, a “yes” vote would keep the law in place and a “no” vote would repeal it.

Ten percent of registered voters surveyed said they were without health insurance. Several respondents said in follow-up interviews that they believed healthcare should be more widely available, but differed on how an expansion should be accomplished.”I believe everybody should be offered health insurance,” said Patty English, 43, a stay-at-home mother of two children, who plans to vote for Proposition 72. “I’m not sure what’s a higher priority to me– education or healthcare — but I believe healthcare is our right.”But Fred Bauer, a llama rancher outside Petaluma, said he would vote to overturn the law because he believed the country should go to a universal healthcare system.”This is another Band-Aid approach that seems particularly unfair to small business,” Bauer said. More generally, Bauer expressed concern about the initiative process shared by other voters interviewed.”The process of how you get an initiative on the ballot has nothing to with the merits,” said Bauer, 65.”It has to do with who has money and what their little pet projects are, and I’m not sure it’s a good way to make law.”

So it’s apparent that the Times found the pro-pay or player while finding a single payer advocate to oppose it — not exactly the typical opponent to this bill you’d imagine. But then again the Time’s Democratic banners are nailed to its mast pretty clearly. Of course enough attack ads during the World Series and this could change fast.

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