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UPDATE: Poll shows majority oppose Va. Medicaid expansion

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A new poll shows that the majority of Virginians oppose a plan favored by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to use federal Medicaid funds to provide health insurance to low-income residents.

A poll from Christopher Newport University's Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy poll released Thursday shows that Virginia voters oppose Medicaid expansion 53 percent to 41 percent. In February, the university found the majority of voters favored Medicaid expansion 56 to 38.

The shift in the public's view suggests that Republican lawmakers are winning the long-running public relations battle over McAuliffe and Democratic lawmakers.

"Democrats are losing the debate on expanding Medicaid in Virginia," said professor Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy. He noted that even in Democratic-heavy Northern Virginia, voters only supported Medicaid expansion by a 2 percent margin.

Lawmakers have been deadlocked on Medicaid expansion for several months. The impasse led the General Assembly to adjourn in March without passing a $96 billion two-year budget. If no budget is passed by July 1, state agencies could run out of money.

Since then, Republicans and Democrats have been busy pointing fingers at each other over who is to blame for the standoff. Both sides have been helped or attacked by advertising paid for by outside groups, including the liberal Moveon.org and the conservative Americans for Prosperity.

McAuliffe has barnstormed the state visiting several hospitals and clinics to argue in favor of expanding Medicaid eligibility. The new governor has argued that Virginia and its rural hospitals in particular can't afford to forgo billions of federal dollars by not expanding.

During a radio call-in show Thursday, the governor shrugged off the poll's findings and reiterated the financial benefits of expansion.

Medicaid expansion is a key, but optional part of the Affordable Care Act. The federal government has promised to cover the bulk of the program's costs.

McAuliffe also blamed Republicans for refusing to negotiate a budget deal.

"Compromise is not a bad word," McAuliffe said.

Most Republican lawmakers oppose expanding Medicaid eligibility, citing unease over the program's potential long-term costs. They have pressed McAuliffe to allow a budget to pass without including Medicaid expansion and revisiting the issue in a special session.

Matthew Moran, a spokesman for House Speaker William J. Howell, said the poll shows that "Virginia voters oppose Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and they want to see a compromise that avoids a government shutdown."

The CNU poll was based on interviews with 806 registered voters and has a 3.5 percent margin of error.


I love it…we don’t understand…the standard liberal playbook. Whenever we disagree, we don’t understand. But we do…it ain’t rocket science

Or its about gettign people covered becasue people not having insurance costs insured people more as well as tax payers. Its cheaper for them to be covered as a group through medicare which negotiates costs the same as insurance than it is for them to be individuals in the system that the hospital has to write off and then beg money from local governments to cover.

Anyone who understands how our messed up medical system works knows this will reduce tax payer money going into the medical system not expand it. Most people who don’t know don’t understand the complex issues at hand.

liberals just can’t fathom anyone ever wanting to curb any further welfare….just not in their DNA…especially since it usually isn’t them paying for it

If people don’t qualify for medicaid now, then they don’t need to be on medicaid. Medicaid expansion is just another attempt to increase the number of voters who will support the Democrat Party because they are dependent on subsidies pay for by all the hard working people having their paychecks milked.

Again 1 poll vs a dozen showing popular support.

How about this, pass the Medicaid for the small 400K that aren’t insured and if the federal govt cuts back, then the VA democratic party is on the hook for the difference. Very simple and easy….

Loaded wording:

“IS THE MEDICAID EXPANSION LOSING POPULARITY IN VIRGINIA? - Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center: “Virginians say 53% to 41% that they oppose Medicaid expansion. This is a reversal from the Wason Center survey released February 3, which showed general support for Medicaid expansion, 56% to 38%.”’ [CNU]

But the question wording is different from the last survey - David Weigel quotes Democratic pollster Geoff Garin: “The result is totally driven by the way the question is framed and the information in the question, rather than a reflection of what voters might be hearing about the issue on their own. Here is the question they asked in this poll:

Democrats propose to subsidize private insurance for 400,000 uninsured and low income Virginians by using federal Medicaid money that would otherwise not come to Virginia. Republicans oppose this expansion because they fear the federal Medicaid money will not come as promised, and also say the current Medicaid program has too much waste and abuse and needs reformed before it is expanded

[Garin:] Of course, that is not how Democrats would describe their position on this. In the previous poll by CNU, they asked the question in a more neutral way and got a much more positive result: 56% support, 38% oppose. I think it is pretty likely that if they asked the question the same way this time they would have gotten a more similar result.

Here is the previous wording:
Medicaid is a health care program for families and individuals with low income that is funded by both federal and state tax dollars. Currently, Virginia is faced with a decision about whether to expand the Medicaid program to cover an additional 400,000 mostly working poor Virginians who are uninsured. In general, do you support Medicaid expansion or oppose it?” [Slate]”

Mark Blumenthal & Ariel Edwards-Levy
HUFFPOLLSTER: Just How Republican Are White Southern Voters?
Posted: 04/25/2014


Suppose the question were something like:  Do you support passing legislation to include Virginia in the Federal Medicaid Expansion program…and reserving the right to withdraw from the program if the Federal government fails to pay in future years.    I’m sure most would agree.  So c’mon, GOP, put that language in a law and let’s get on with this.

If a poll is conducted and random people are called, it doesn’t matter who is running the poll, the data is still valid. Virginians don’t want Medicaid expansion nor the cost associated with it. The part most people don’t realize is the Feds cut back their payments by 10% a few years into it. So if we get $30/billion initially, we’ll eventually have to pony up $3/billion down the road. That’s $3/billion which isn’t going to schools, roads, etc.  No thanks Terry, we don’t want this bait and switch gimmick.

Ditto, waya

Wow, this is telling you something when two left leaning organizations (LTM and AP) publish this poll.  The numbers against it must be even higher. 

It’s McAuliffe who’s holding the budget hostage because he insists that expanding the failed, fraud-ridden, Medicaid system be expanded to support the Obamacare disaster.  “You can keep your health plan.”  LOL!

Surprise, surprise. . CNU is a hard right “wannabe” college.  Yawn.  Nothing to see here, move along.

So one right wing conservative private institute has a poll that is way outside the vast majority of polls. Most show over 50% support.

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