A majority of Floridians want the Legislature to expand Medicaid, according to a new poll conducted by Protect Our Care Florida.
A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling on April 5 and 6 found 54% of Florida voters favor an expansion, and just 29% expressed firm opposition. Pollsters surveyed 634 Florida voters and report a margin of error of 3.9%.
“There’s simply no reason to not expand Medicaid in Florida,” said William Miller, Protect Our Care Florida director. “On top of the benefits both to the health of millions of Floridians and the economic benefits to the state, it is also consistently a broadly popular policy that most Floridians support.”
Those numbers go up when hearing certain facts. After hearing that an expansion would result in over 1.3 million people gaining access to health insurance coverage, 53% are more likely to support the policy and just 22% are less likely. With that information, 63% of independents favor the change.
When told nonpartisan analysts found a Medicaid expansion would reduce medical debt, 58% support the policy and just 24% do not. And when shown data demonstrating Medicaid expansion in other states has saved nearly 20,000 lives of older adults and reduced cancer and heart-related deaths, a full 61% favor doing so in Florida, while only 22% remain opposed.
Moreover, sharing a position on Medicaid expansion is something that translates into candidate support. About 46% of voters said they were less likely to vote for Sen. Marco Rubio next year due to his opposition to an expansion, and 42% said they would not support Gov. Ron DeSantis over the position.
Unsurprisingly, 57% of voters say they consider expanding Medicaid more important than preserving Dr. Suess books.
The poll found Medicaid particularly popular with female voters.
The advocacy group commissioned the poll as part of Medicaid Awareness Month. It also comes as the federal American Rescue Plan adds incentives to states that have resisted expansion to change direction. If passed this year, an expansion would provide over 1.1 million Floridians with access to health care at a time when lawmakers are considering cuts.
Financially, an expansion would also save the state an estimated $1.8 billion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.