Poll shows Medicaid extension popular in Florida

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Today, the Florida Hospital Association released a poll showing 74 percent of Hispanic, 69 percent of women, and 62 percent of all Florida voters support extending Medicaid coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Only 34 percent of respondents preferred rejecting the extension.

“Floridians believe that everyone should have access to high quality, affordable health care, and this is a remedy the vast majority of voters support,” said Bruce Rueben, President of the Florida Hospital Association. “We believe that our state can extend coverage while also protecting taxpayers through an approach we call “The Florida Remedy.”

The federal government has committed to funding 100 percent of Florida’s Medicaid extension for the first three years and at a minimum of 90 percent moving forward. This means Florida will receive about $27 billion in federal funds while investing $1.7 billion over the next ten years. Extending coverage will dramatically reduce the hidden tax in health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs paid by Florida businesses and individuals. Currently, the average family premium is 8 percent higher and an average hospital stay is 16.2 percent more costly due to a hidden tax levied to cover the cost of care for four million uninsured Floridians.

“With the Florida Remedy, if the federal government breaks its funding promise, taxpayers aren’t left on the hook,” said Rueben. “The Remedy makes coverage affordable by using the expansion of managed care, a key part of the current Medicaid waiver for which Governor Scott seeks federal approval.”

According to the poll of 600 registered voters by Public Opinion Strategies, the view that the state should accept federal funding and extend coverage is significant with virtually all “swing” voters sub-groups in the state: younger voters (76 percent), self-identified moderates (72 percent), women (69 percent), seniors (63 percent), political independents (61 percent), white women (62 percent), Orlando voters (67 percent) and Tampa voters (59 percent). Even a majority self-identified “Moderate/Liberal Republicans” (52 percent) support accepting federal funds for coverage.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.