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More Americans Back Than Oppose State Medicaid Expansions But, Like Many Governors, Public Splits Along Party Lines
On The Federal Deficit, Public Wants Action But Still Resists Most Cuts and Sacrifices, Especially to
Fifty-five percent of the public, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, say that establishing the exchanges-- a key element of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and one whose implementation has divided states along partisan political lines – is a "top priority" for their governor and legislature. So far 18 states and the District of Columbia have declared that they will create their own state-based exchanges, seven other states have opted to establish exchanges in partnership with the federal government and 25 others – some driven by resistance to the ACA -- appear set to default to a federally-run exchange.
"Governors are largely splitting along partisan lines on the exchanges, but the public is not. People like the idea," said
Similarly, while some Republican governors are balking at the optional expansion of
In the bigger picture, the survey finds just over half of Americans (52%) – including 78 percent of Republicans-- agree that opponents of the ACA should continue trying to change it so that the law has "less impact on taxpayers, employers, and health care providers," while 40 percent agree that "those opposed to the health care law should accept that it is now the law of the land and stop trying to block [its] implementation."
Meanwhile, policy makers involved in budget deficit negotiations at the federal level face a familiar conundrum. Even as most Americans (65%) say that
Only two of six specific proposals asked about in the poll to trim
Americans were also asked to identify from a list of 15 federal program areas in health and health care (excluding
"In a climate heavily focused on reducing the federal budget deficit, the public still places a high priority on federal spending on veterans' health care, medical research, health-related responses to disasters, and preventing chronic and infectious diseases," said
Asked about the diseases or health conditions that pose the greatest threats to the American public, the public's top concerns are cancer (56%) and heart disease (35%), as has been true for several years. But since 2007, there has been a substantial increase in the proportion of the public that see diabetes (30% in 2013, compared to 14% in 2007) and obesity (26% in 2013, compared to 6% in 2007) as posing one of the two greatest threats.
"These poll results provide more evidence that our nation is on the right track with expanding availability of affordable health coverage, and focusing more on preventing illness before it results in costly treatment," said
This Kaiser Family Foundation/
The full question wording, results, charts and a brief on the poll can be viewed online at http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/8405.cfm. A webcast of today's