Families USA Poll: Most Adults in Deep South Back Medicaid Expansion
Although few adults living in the Deep South have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, nearly two-thirds support the law's Medicaid expansion, according to aÂ pollÂ released Tuesday by Families USA,Â The Hill's "Healthwatch," reports (Baker, "Healthwatch,"Â The Hill, 5/21).Â
For the poll, researchers at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies surveyed 500 adults living in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina between March 5 and April 8.
All of the states surveyed are led by Republican governors and have decided not to expand their Medicaid programs under the ACA. The five states also rank among the lowest in overall health, with Mississippi and Louisiana tied for last, according to United Health Foundation's annual state healthÂ rankingsÂ (Pugh,Â Miami Herald, 5/21).Â
Overall, the poll found 62% of respondents back Medicaid expansion, ranging from a low of 59% in Mississippi to a high of 64% in Alabama (Eisenhower, "Capsules,"Â Kaiser Health News, 5/21). However, the percentage supporting the expansion declined to 54% when asked if they would support expanding Medicaid in their own state (CQ HealthBeat, 5/21).
The poll also revealed notable differences among individuals' support of the expansion by income levels, political ties and race:
- 85% of blacks supported the expansion, compared with 53.3% of non-Hispanic whites;
- 82% of individuals with annual household incomes below $15,000 supported the expansion, compared with 54% of those with annual incomes of more than $90,000 (Miami Herald, 5/21); and
- 87% of Democrats supported the expansion, compared with 38% of Republicans (Polling Report, 5/21).
A majority of respondents also had favorable views of the law's health insurance exchanges and insurance subsidies. Three-quarters of respondents supported the exchanges, compared with 20% who opposed them. Meanwhile, 69% of respondents supported the federal subsidies, compared with 28% who opposed them.
Despite the support for the expansion, exchanges and subsidies, just 33% of respondents said they viewed the ACA favorably and only 31% said they supported the individual mandate (CQ HealthBeat, 5/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.