Source: NC Health News ⇥
Poll Shows Support for Expanded Medicaid Program
By Rose Hoban
Voters of every stripe believe the state should expand the Medicaid program to include those who are currently too poor to have insurance. That’s according to results of a survey from Public Policy Polling released on Tuesday.
In a survey of more than 2,000 registered voters, clear majorities of men, women, Democrats, Republicans and Independents said they supported the legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory fixing “the coverage gap by creating a special North Carolina plan in partnership with the Federal government.”
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, states are allowed to expand Medicaid, the program that covers about 1.9 million low-income North Carolinians [see box].
North Carolina is among those states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, and between 360,000 and 500,000 North Carolinians are today too poor to afford private insurance or to receive federal subsidies to help buy insurance but make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.
Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have chosen to expand the program, which will be paid for in whole by the federal government until 2017. After that, the federal government will pick up about 90 percent of the tab.
The poll asked whether North Carolina should make a plan to fix the health insurance coverage gap; 84 percent of Democrats and 62 percent each of Republicans and unaffiliated voters answered yes. The poll also found majority support for expansion among all age groups and all races.
Because of the large number of participants in the poll, the margin of error is only +/- 2.2 percent.
“This poll shows that there is widespread, bipartisan support for closing the health insurance coverage gap,” said Michelle Hughes, executive director of NC Child, in a press release.
NC Child is a statewide advocacy group that commissioned the poll.
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