Press Release


For Immediate Release Contact

 

Sue Ducat
Director of Communications
(301) 841-9962
sducat@projecthope.org

   

New Study Shows Low-Income Residents In Three States Support Medicaid Expansion

 

Bethesda, MD--Expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to millions of low-income adults has been controversial. However, little is known what these Americans themselves think about Medicaid. A new study, being released today by Health Affairs as a Web First, surveyed nearly 3,000 low-income adults in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas (states that have adopted different approaches for Medicaid expansion). This telephone survey, conducted in late 2013, found that 83 percent of respondents in Arkansas and Kentucky and 79 percent of those in Texas were in favor of their state expanding Medicaid under the ACA. Roughly two-thirds of uninsured respondents planned to apply for coverage in 2014. The majority of adults surveyed viewed Medicaid as comparable to or better than private insurance in overall health care quality.


Low-Income Residents In Three States View Medicaid As Equal To Or Better Than Private Coverage, Support Expansion

 

By Arnold M. Epstein, Benjamin D. Sommers, Yelena Kuznetsov, and Robert J. Blendon

 

http://content.healthaffairs.org/lookup/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2014.0747

 

All the authors are affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

 

This study, which was supported by The Commonwealth Fund, will also appear in the November issue of Health Affairs.


The authors developed a thirty-eight-item survey and targeted citizens ages 19-64 with household incomes of less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Forty percent of Texas respondents were Latino. A significant number of respondents (40 percent in Arkansas and Kentucky and 32 percent in Texas) said they were in "fair" or "poor" health, with a substantial number of respondents reporting living with chronic health conditions. "While state policy makers continue to debate the relative merits of whether and how to expand Medicaid under the ACA, our data indicate that there is little debate among most low-income adults that they would benefit from expanded coverage," concluded the authors. "Most respondents in our survey thought that Medicaid coverage was better than being uninsured, and at least as good as or better than private insurance in overall quality."  

 
About Health Affairs
 

Health Affairs is the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published by Project HOPE, the peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print, with additional Web First papers published periodically at www.healthaffairs.org. The full text of each Health Affairs Web First paper is available free of charge to all website visitors for a one-week period following posting, after which it switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. Web First papers are supported in part by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund. You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter. Read daily perspectives on Health Affairs Blog. Download our podcasts, including monthly Narrative Matters essays, on iTunes. Tap into Health Affairs content with the new iPad app.