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Polls Show Strong Support For Medicaid Expansion

Iowa, Michigan Voters Favor This Facet of ACA by Large Majorities

By Payers & Providers Staff

Feb 5, 2013

Midwest Region

Chris Hansen

New polling by a wing of the American Cancer Society concluded that voters in two Midwest states want Medicaid coverage to be expanded under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The polls, which were undertaken by the firms Lake Research Partners and GS Strategy Group – the former is Democratic leaning, the latter Republican – indicated that both Iowa and Michigan voters desire Medicaid expansion by a wide margin.

In Michigan, 63% of those polled said they supported expanding the Medicaid program under healthcare reform. Virtually all of the cost for the first three years would be paid for by the federal government, with 90% coming from the feds in the years after that.

The feelings were not so strong toward Medicaid expansion in Iowa, where the political climate tends to be more conservative than Michigan. Nonetheless, 57% of voters were in favor of widening coverage under the ACA, compared to 27% who were against accepting federal funds for expansion.

“States have an opportunity to provide millions of currently uninsured people nationwide with lifesaving health coverage through Medicaid, and public sentiment in various areas of the country is decidedly in favor of states using available federal dollars to pay for it,” said Chris Hansen, president of American Cancer Society Action Cancer Network, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. “If states make that choice, families across the country will have the security of knowing they have access to proven cancer screenings and treatments they otherwise could not afford.”

Altogether, ASCCAN polled voters in seven states. Voters polled in every state – including Texas – said they were in favor of accepting federal funds for expanding Medicaid. Republican voters were not in favor of the expansion by what ASCCAN officials described as a “small minority.” However, their sentiment was overtaken by Democrats and independent voters, which were overwhelmingly in favor of Medicaid expansion.

Neither Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder nor Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad have indicated whether they will include their states in the Medicaid expansion. Both governors are Republicans, and some factions of the party have objected to the implementation of the ACA.

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