Half of California voters responding to a statewide poll said they support retaining the new law that requires many employers to help buy health insurance for their workers.
A measure on the November ballot asks voters whether the Health Insurance Act of 2003 should be repealed because it would be costly to employers.
The law requires companies with at least 200 employees to offer health benefits to workers and their dependents by 2006, while smaller companies have until 2007.
A California Field Poll released today found that 50% of likely voters said they support keeping the new mandate, while 28% said they would repeal the law and 22% are undecided.
"The Health Insurance Act is based on the value that if you work hard and play by the rules you should get health insurance on the job," said Steve Thompson, vice president of government relations for the California Medical Association, which backed the law and opposes the repeal effort.
The law was approved by the Legislature last summer and signed into law by former Gov. Gray Davis during his last days in office.
A number of business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce, assert that the legislation will cost employers collectively $7 billion a year, a cost that will force more companies to relocate out of state.
The Field Poll, conducted over a seven-day period ending May 18, was based on interviews with 647 registered voters who are likely to vote in November. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points