A new poll has been released documenting an uptick in support for health care exchanges and health care reform in general.

The first-in-the-nation online exchange programs are designed to allow consumers to access premiums and compare services of multiple insurance companies through a single portal. The Field Poll found that 17 percent of people knew of the exchanges, but 74 percent knew that they were a website for comparison shopping.

The Poll also found a massive support gap between those who have insurance and those who do not. Of those currently without healthcare – or who know someone who has gone without care for 2 or more years – the reforms are supported more than 2-to-1.

California has an estimated 7 million uninsured residents.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

As health care and the future of Medicare take center stage in the presidential campaign, many Californians are optimistic about one aspect of the new federal health care law – the online exchange where residents can shop for coverage, according to a Field Poll released Monday.

The survey, taken July 12-29 and funded by the California Wellness Foundation, is Field’s sixth annual look at public opinion on health care issues.

Read the full article here.