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Balancing the State Budget and Maintaining Health and Long-term Care Funding in California: A Public Opinion Poll

Californians are largely opposed to the state cutting or eliminating health and long-term care services in order to help balance the budget, according to this AARP 2005 random-sample telephone survey of California residents age 18+ in which two-thirds of respondents say that there is not enough state funding now to meet the needs for these services.

Of those surveyed...

  • 55 percent strongly (40%) or somewhat (15%) oppose the state's proposals to save about $260 million by freezing the cost-of-living adjustment for the federal cash benefit program (SSP) and withholding the cost-of-living adjustment for the federal cash benefit program (SSI).
  • 84% strongly (71%) or somewhat (13%) oppose cutting wages of in-home supportive service workers from $10.10 to $6.75 per hour to save about $215 million per year after the first year.
  • 51 percent strongly (37%) or somewhat (14%) oppose charging Medi-Cal beneficiaries a monthly premium to save the state about $43 million.
  • 67 percent strongly (41%) or somewhat (26%) oppose eliminating the Senior Citizen Tax Assistance Program.
  • 68 percent strongly (47%) or somewhat (21%) support reinstating the 10 and 11 percent income tax rates for higher income residents (to raise an estimated $3 billion in additional state revenue) if the funds were to be used to maintain health and long-term care services.

This telephone survey of 1,200 California residents age 18 and over was conducted for AARP by Alan Newman Research during June 15-22, 2005. For more information, contact Jennifer Sauer at 202-434-6207. (10 pages)

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