Poll: More Americans Favor Medicaid Expansion Than Oppose It

Americans slightly favor states' volutarily expanding their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
by | July 31, 2012
 

Americans slightly favor states' volutarily expanding their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Kaiser found that 49 percent of Americans support the idea of states' expanding Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (the new ACA threshold) with the understanding that the federal government would initially cover all of the costs and states would eventually be responsible for 10 percent.

According to the survey, 43 percent were opposed. Opinions were predictably split among parties: three-fourths of Democrats supported the expansion, and 66 percent of Republicans opposed. The independents were almost evenly split: 47 percent opposed, and 46 percent supportive.

In a broadening of the question, Kaiser found more support for the general concept of a Medicaid expansion. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they had a favorable view of the following statement: "The law will expand the existing Medicaid program to cover more low-income, uninsured people."

As votes for repeal and defunding continue on Capitol Hill, Americans do seem generally weary of debate over the ACA. Kaiser found that 54 percent of those surveyed were tired of Congress debating the law and wanted lawmakers to move onto other issues. Again, viewpoints split along a partisan line: 65 percent of Democrats, 54 percent of independents and 39 percent of Republicans felt that way.

Overall, though, opinion of the law seems to have dipped since the Supreme Court largely upheld the ACA. Kaiser found that 44 percent of Americans had an unfavorable view of the law, while 38 percent have a favorable view. That's down from an even 41-41 split prior to the Court's ruling.

The Kaiser poll's findings are based on interviews conducted with 1,227 adults, ages 18 and older, between July 17 and 23.

The map below details each state's uninsured population that could be eligible for Medicaid and each state's expected spending for the ACA's Medicaid expansion. Darker states have higher percentages of uninsured residents who are potentially Medicaid eligible. Click a state for additional information.

 

Zoom out to view Alaska and Hawaii data.

SOURCE: Medicaid eligibility estimates obtained from Urban Institute analysis of American Community Survey and Integrated Public Use Microdata Series data. State spending figures obtained from Medicaid Coverage and Spending in Health Reform: National and State‐by‐State Results for Adults at or Below 133% FPL, published May 2010 by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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