New Poll Shows More Support Than Ever for Medicaid Expansion

Sep 20, 2018

Credit MBandman / Creative Commons

Democrats have been pushing to expand Medicaid for years, although they weren’t able to gain any traction until they came within a few votes of seizing the House of Delegates.

During previous election cycles, the popularity of expanding health insurance to people who live in poverty or with disabilities has hovered somewhere between 60% and 70%. Now, according to a new poll from the University of Mary Washington, it’s at an all-time high — 76% support.

“Medicaid expansion is a loser for Republicans, and they learned that the hard way in 2017.”

That’s Stephen Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the university. He says Republicans were smart to cut a deal and move on, changing the subject to other issues. The poll even found that a majority of Republicans in Virginia — and a majority of Trump voters in Virginia — support Medicaid expansion.

“Trump is on much firmer ground politically when he talks about issues that connect with the anger that helped get him elected, and those are much more likely to help Republicans than the issue of Medicaid expansion and trying to undo Obamacare.”

Virginians over the age of 55 are least likely to support Medicaid expansion. People who live in Northern Virginia and Tidewater are most likely to support it.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.