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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

New poll challenges notion Floridians support Medicaid expansion



With Gov. Rick Scott saying he wants Florida to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid, The James Madison Institute rushed to release its poll that indicates a majority of Floridians oppose expanding the health care program.

That is a different result from two other polls that concluded Floridians wanted the state to accept federal dollars to help more uninsured get health coverage. James Madison Institute, a conservative think-tank opposed to government expansion, asked the question differently.

James Madison Institute asked 600 people earlier this month, “At 21 billion dollars, spending on Medicaid currently represents about 30 percent of Florida's budget. If Florida should implement the Medicaid expansion, Medicaid would become an even higher percentage of overall state spending. Does this fact make you more likely or less likely to support expanding the Medicaid eligibility requirements in Florida?”

The result: 56 percent of respondents said they were less likely to support expansion compared to 30 percent who said they were more likely.

The Florida Hospital Association asked it this way: “In order to cover more uninsured adults, the federal government would cover all of the increased cost to expand health care coverage through Medicaid for the first three years.  The federal government would then cover 90 percent of the increased costs permanently with the state of Florida paying ten percent.  Knowing this, would you say the state should or should not accept the federal money to expand health care coverage through the Medicaid program to cover more uninsured adults?”

The result: 62 percent said the state should accept the money compared to 34 percent who said Florida should not.

The James Madison Institute poll was conducted by Public Insight and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Click here to download the poll results.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 21, 2013 11:55am]


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