Poll: Idahoans oppose Medicaid expansion, won’t support legislators who do

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A new poll finds Idahoans are decidedly opposed to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in Idaho, and that almost two-thirds of voters would be less likely to re-elect a legislator who supports Medicaid expansion.

The poll was commissioned by the Foundation for Government Accountability and the Idaho Freedom  Foundation. The survey found that, when first asked about Medicaid expansion, 46 percent of voters say they’re opposed to Medicaid expansion, 39 percent are supportive and the rest are undecided.

“Idahoans don’t want Medicaid expansion. They don’t want more Obamacare and they don’t want to enact another program that competes for precious taxpayer resources,” said Wayne Hoffman, president of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Jonathan Ingram, research director for the Foundation for Government Accountability, noted that FGA has conducted similar polls in other states, but that Idaho’s results stand out.

“The people of Idaho are more opposed to ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion than in many of the other states we’ve researched,” said Ingram. “And what little support there is quickly evaporates as soon as they learn about the real costs and the harm that expansion will do to the state. The truth and information are the enemies of Medicaid expansion.”

Opposition to Medicaid expansion grows when Idahoans learn how Medicaid expansion is funded, who benefits and who is hurt.  Almost three-quarters of Idahoans say they’re less likely to support Medicaid expansion knowing that the program will compete for funding with education, public safety and other health care programs. More than two-thirds of Idahoans said they’re less likely to support Medicaid expansion knowing that the state will have to spend millions more to administer the program, that the state won’t be able to undo expansion and that it could cause 16,000 able-bodied adults to drop out of the labor force.

After voters are informed about Medicaid expansion, support for the program drops to just 26 percent, while opposition reaches 68 percent. About 62 percent of Idahoans surveyed said they were less likely to re-elect a lawmaker who supported Medicaid expansion. Opposition to pro-Medicaid expansion legislators was heaviest among Republicans; 83 percent said they’d be less likely to re-elect legislators who support Medicaid expansion.

The poll of 504 Idahoans was conducted Jan 9-12. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.36 percent. The poll results can be found here.