Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act grants U.S. states the option to accept federal funds to increase access to Medicaid, a state and federal partnership that provides health coverage for people with disabilities and lower incomes, older people and some families and children. Data released Wednesday by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, or ACS CAN, indicates that most registered voters want their states to accept these funds, despite the danger of future state spending increases.
In a poll spanning seven states of diverse demographics and geography — Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico and Texas — respondents in all states were two to three times more likely to support accepting than rejecting federal dollars to increase Medicaid coverage.
“Beginning next year, Medicaid will offer a defined set of essential benefits to prevent and treat a serious disease such as cancer,” said Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN. “Broadening access to Medicaid coverage will save lives and reduce health care costs.”
According to the ACS CAN release, states that were selected have been “wrestling with the decision of whether to make health coverage under Medicaid available to individuals and families under 133 percent of the federal poverty level, as urged by the Affordable Care Act.” Provisions of the health reform law offer to pay 100 percent of the costs of Medicaid funds for the first three years in any state that expands access, but lower coverage to 90 percent of total expansion costs by 2020.
In no state did more than 35 percent of respondents support rejecting federal funds. Conversely, no fewer than 55 percent of respondents in any state opposed accepting these funds.
Visit ACS CAN online for full polling results.