Most Florida Voters Oppose Expansion, Less Likely to Support Pro-Expansion Politicians
NAPLES – A new poll commissioned by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is likely to cause buyer’s remorse for Governor Rick Scott and legislators who announced support for Medicaid expansion.
“Any Florida politician that hoped to score political points by supporting Medicaid expansion will be disappointed, and probably a little nervous, by these results,” said FGA President and CEO Tarren Bragdon. “Medicaid expansion is unpopular with Florida voters, and a majority is likely to reinforce that opposition at the ballot box.”
The 811-person poll of registered Florida voters found that fewer than a quarter of respondents (24%) want Florida to expand Medicaid right away to enroll roughly 1 million more people into the taxpayer-funded health program. A vast majority (70%) either want politicians to delay the decision for one year, or reject the expansion entirely.
With regard to expansion, voters indicate a lack of trust in the federal government to fund the expansion, support for a different approach to reducing the uninsured, and a belief expansion will increase voters’ taxes and personal health care costs:
- Half of voters have very little (27%) or no (23%) trust in the federal government to keep its promise to fund Medicaid expansion costs;
- 78% said making private health coverage more affordable was the best way to reduce the uninsured rate, compared to just 15% who said Medicaid expansion is the best approach;
- 62% strongly or somewhat agree Medicaid expansion will result in higher personal health care costs, while 70% of voters strongly or somewhat agree expansion will result in higher taxes.
A majority of voters (53%) are so firm in their opposition that they would be less likely to support their state legislator if he or she voted to expand Florida Medicaid by another 1 million enrollees. Just 39% indicate they would be more likely to support their legislator for favoring expansion.
“Few voters believe that a massive expansion of government-run Medicaid will solve anything,” Bragdon said. “Voters know it will cost more, tax more, provide less, and leave future generations with the bills.”
The poll was conducted by Mark Blankenship Enterprises (MBE) between February 19 and 23, 2013. It has a +/- 3.44% margin of error and a 95% level of confidence.
Mark Blankenship is president and chief executive officer of Mark Blankenship Enterprises, LLC (MBE). MBE is a national communications and opinion research firm.. Blankenship’s surveys, commentary and insights have appeared in a range of national and regional media including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Drudge Report, Fox News, Roll Call, The Hill, Politico and others. MBE provides a range of actionable and reliable research methodologies to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, prominent law firms, media organizations, associations and non-government organizations.