Hospital Association Poll Finds Support For Medicaid Expansion

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 6 views 

A new poll commissioned by the Arkansas Hospital Association shows that a majority of voters feel strongly that the state of Arkansas should accept federal funds to expand its Medicaid program.

The poll, conducted by Little Rock-based Oakleaf and Associates, found that 53% said the state should “definitely” accept new Medicaid money, while 12% said the state should “probably” accept it. Roughly 26% said the state should “probably” or “definitely” turn down the money and 9% had no opinion.

The poll also quizzed voters on their opinions about expansion related to the closure of rural hospitals and the potential economic impact of closures. You can access the poll’s results at this link.

It was conducted between Feb. 5-21 among 602 registered Arkansas voters and has a margin of error of +/-4.1%.

Support for a Medicaid expansion in the AHA poll is similar to a finding in a recent Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll.

That poll, conducted last week, showed 53.5% of Arkansans supported expanding Medicaid, while only 40% opposed.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mike Beebe and state lawmakers met to discuss a potential Medicaid expansion and how new federal permission could allow the state more flexibility on advancing a possible expansion.

In short, the big takeaway from Beebe’s meeting with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the weekend was that Arkansas does have permission to explore using Medicaid expansion funds in its forthcoming health insurance exchanges.