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Californians fracture along partisan lines when asked about federal health care reform, a new Public Policy Institute of California poll finds.

While 60 percent of California Democrats reported a favorable view of the law, only 13 percent of Republicans hold that view, against a resounding 80 percent who rejected it. Independents were more mixed, with 40 percent approving, 51 percent disapproving and nine percent saying they didn't know.

The sum of those results: Californians are evenly divided on the sweeping new reordering of American health care, with an identical 44 percent supporting and backing it, according to the poll.

Those who don't have health insurance, the main demographic targeted by the law, also appeared more likely to be supportive: 50 percent of Californians lacking insurance support the law against 43 percent saying they viewed it unfavorably. Those with insurance registered an even 43-43 split.

In sharp contrast to Republican-led states that have resisted the new law, refusing to expand Medicaid or declining to set up their own health insurance exchanges, deeply Democratic California has enthusiastically forged ahead in laying the groundwork.

That has meant, among other things, that California's health insurance enrollment rates have outstripped the woeful signup numbers on the federal exchange and some state exchanges. Residents of the state are largely aware of the state exchange, named Covered California: 68 percent affirmed that a California marketplace exists, against 14 percent who said there is not a state exchange and 18 percent who said they didn't know.

PHOTO: A Sacramento State student looks at a pamphlet with information on Covered California on Thusrday, October 16, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.



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