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New Poll Doesn’t Actually Prove Term “Affordable Care Act” Hurts Support for Medicaid Expansion

medicaidMorning Consult claims a new poll of theirs proves that simply adding the name “Affordable Care Act” makes Medicaid expansion noticeably less popular, but that conclusion can’t actually be reached from the questions they used. From Morning Consult:

Three little words is all it takes to change voters’ minds about Medicaid expansion.

Morning Consult polling shows using the term “Affordable Care Act” can make a difference in how a voter feels about expanding Medicaid. When asked if Medicaid should be expanded for low income adults below the federal poverty line, 71 percent of registered voters said yes. When asked if Medicaid should be expanded “as encouraged under the Affordable Care Act”, support dropped nine percentage points.

The problem is their two poll questions aren’t the same exact for the phrase “Affordable Care Act.”

The first group was asked, “Do you think all states should offer Medicaid to low income adults who make below the federal poverty line?” This was supported by 71 percent of voters.

The second question was, “Do you think all states should expand Medicaid as encouraged under the Affordable Care Act?” This had 62 percent support.

To begin with these are two different proposals. The first question would imply expanding Medicaid to everyone making below 100 percent of the federal poverty line, while the ACA actually expands it to people making up to 138 percent of FPL. That could account for some of the difference among voters who know this detail. Some might think Medicaid should be expanded to 100 percent FPL, but not not up as high as the ACA does.

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