Poll: Floridians across the political spectrum favor Medicaid expansion

Health Care Concept. Doctor holding a jigsaw puzzle with MEDICAI
South Dakota and North Carolina are among the latest states to decide on the expansion.

With Florida among the 10 remaining states that have resisted expanding Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act, a new poll suggests that putting it to the people — via ballot referendum — is the way to make it happen.

More than three-fourths of those polled by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy between March 27 and March 30 supported expanding Medicaid, the state’s health insurance for people with low incomes, according to a news release from Florida Decides Healthcare, a labor union-funded political committee based in Tallahassee.

The political committee commissioned the polling firm to ask respondents whether they supported or opposed extending Medicaid to those earning up to 138% of the poverty level. And 76% of the 625 respondents contacted say they would support it — with affirmation from Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats, however, are much more likely to support the idea — with 95% agreeing, compared to 62% of Republicans approving. Among those who identified as independent, 74% support the expansion.

“These numbers clearly demonstrate the growing bipartisan consensus among Floridians on the importance of expanding Medicaid,” said Jake Flaherty, campaign manager for the political committee’s effort to get the question on the ballot. “It’s time for Florida to join the majority of states in providing access to affordable health care for all its residents.”

Currently, Medicaid recipients in Florida are limited to three categories of people and must fall at or below certain income levels — it’s one of the strictest states in its eligibility guidelines.

To be eligible, one must either be one must be younger than 18, in a household earning no more than 133% of the poverty level, pregnant and earning no more than 185% of the poverty level, or elderly or disabled and making no more than 88% of the poverty level.

With a margin error of +/-4 percentage points, the live-dial poll found support for expanding Medicaid is the weakest in Southwest Florida, winning 67% support there, compared to the 82% support the poll found in Southeast Florida.

Those polled were randomly selected from a phone-matched Florida voter registration list with landline and cell phone numbers. Quotas were assigned to reflect voter registration by county.

Recently, red-state holdouts have agreed to the Medicaid expansion the Affordable Care Act envisions. The North Carolina Governor last month signed legislation that expands Medicaid. And South Dakota voters last November went the route Florida Decides Healthcare aims for in this state — via referendum. South Dakotans approved the expansion, with 56% supporting it.

In Florida, the ballot referendum would have to win at least 60% approval. And that seems like the easy part. The group must collect signatures equal to 8% of the number of Floridians that vote in the upcoming presidential election to get the referendum before voters. Taking the number from the last election, which would be about 890,000 signatures from Florida voters, to get the question on the ballot.

Flaherty says it’s an idea for which the time has come, even if most legislative action on health care this Session has been focused on expanding Florida KidCare eligibility.

“It’s time for Florida to join the majority of states in providing access to affordable healthcare for all its residents,” Flaherty said. “Florida’s voters know that Medicaid expansion is a smart choice not only for the health of our people but for the state’s budget and economy as well.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Corruption in Florida

    April 7, 2023 at 8:38 am

    The Florida GOP legislators, and the governor don’t care about Floridians. They would rather spend money on fighting big corporations and speak out against them, and sending immigrants from Texas to other states as opposed to helping Floridians that need help.

    • Elliott Offen

      April 7, 2023 at 8:53 am

      Only certain big corporations and for the wrong reasons. They should be fighting for better wages but in general they do nothing for anyone who isn’t already rich. Big corporations are in that basket. They don’t want to tax. They don’t want to spend to improve public services and infrastructure. They just occupy seats so someone else can’t get in there and actually govern. They are only there to protect the rich against everyone else.

      • Earl Pitts American

        April 7, 2023 at 9:46 am

        Good morning Smelliott,
        Let me, Earl Pitts American, take a moment to school you on how the legislative process works.
        1. You elect a candidate that you perfer.
        2. You contact any elected official’s offices (not just the leftist radicals you voted for) if you want them to consider some pearl of wisdom you are interested in becoming future legislation.
        There you go Smelliot. Thats it – the entire process.
        What the legislative process does not respond to is fake polls and fake @55 trolls such as Smelliot and those like Smelliot snipeing on social media or regular media and expecting elected officials to “do the will of voters” based on some fake @55 poll cooked up in the middle of Florida’s legislative session.
        You other lefty commenters would also do well to read and heed what I, Earl Pitts American, just told Smelliot and thank me, Earl Pitts American, for the great wisdom that I, Earl Pitts American, just took a moment out of my busy day to take you disadvantaged mentally challanged lefties to school on today.
        You are welcome Smelliott and all the other lefties who will read, learn, and benifit from my superior wisdom.
        Thank you Smelliot and all you other mental midget lefties,
        Earl Pitts American

        • Dr. Franklin Waters

          April 7, 2023 at 10:23 am

          There are only two kinds of Republicans:

          1) Millionaires
          2) Suckers

          • Earl Pitts American

            April 9, 2023 at 6:20 pm

            Good evening Smelliot and Dr. Frankenstein,
            Are you aware that corporations dont pay taxes?
            No they dont and thus dont care if Biden makes them pay more taxes. For corporations taxes are a pass thru meaning if your Biden jacks their tax rate, corporations dont care, because corporations just jack the price Smelliott and Dr. Frankenstein pay for their product.
            Still dont understand why corporations dont pay taxes? I thought so and I dont hate you for your ignorance because it is just a basic defect in all leftist’s brains in that they will never ever grasp the simple 3rd grade concepts on why corporations dont pay taxes. So dont feel bad or stupid Smelliot and Dr. Frankenstein you just will never have the mental capacity to ever understand understand. Unless of course maybe one day you come to your senses and convert to conservatism. Then majically you will understand. Your both not stupid. Your both just leftists and cant help yourself to do better.
            Thank you Smelliott and Dr. Frankenstein,
            Earl Pitts American

          • Billy the Bamboozler

            April 9, 2023 at 8:53 pm

            👆Shill for the rich yet he is not rich. Totally confused troll.

        • Elliott Offen

          April 9, 2023 at 8:59 pm

          Get tf out of here Earl.. you fking crack head SOB. You people are the gd idiots. Trump trolls.. shills for a billionaire. Took you people for a ride… took your fking money and common sense.

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Comments are closed.


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