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Most Texans and Floridians Want Medicaid Expansion in Their States

Jackie Syrop
People who live in the country’s 2 biggest states that have not expanded Medicaid have more complaints about healthcare costs and quality and would like their states to expand the program.
People who live in the country’s 2 biggest states that have not expanded Medicaid have more complaints about healthcare costs and quality and would like their states to expand the program, according to the results of a Nielsen survey of 5000 Americans. The survey, “The TMC Health Policy Institute Consumer Health Report 2016: Second Annual Survey 5 States,” assessed attitudes about the healthcare system in Texas, California, Florida, New York, and Ohio, and was published May 18, 2016, by the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute.

The Medicaid programs in California, New York, and Ohio were expanded, and the survey found that most residents in those 3 states approved of the decision to expand eligibility. Two-thirds of the respondents in Texas and Florida wanted their politicians to to expand Medicaid.

More residents in Florida and Texas complained about the quality of healthcare and felt it was worse than it was 2 years ago. Latino and uninsured consumers were more likely to say the quality of their health is worse this year.

In Texas, 65% of the people said they were paying more out of pocket for healthcare than they were 2 years ago and were cutting down on other expenses in order to do so. Sixty-eight percent of Floridians and 63% of Texans favored Medicaid expansion. Expanding Medicaid was the top choice for reaching universal coverage, the survey found.

The survey respondents were also asked their heights and weights, party affiliations, and insurance status. Eighty-six percent of respondents with a normal body mass index said they are in good to excellent health, but so did most who are overweight or obese.

Respondents were asked about their use of the emergency department (ED) and interventions to combat obesity. Forty-six percent of survey respondents said they’d gone to an ED when they knew it wasn’t an emergency. Respondents said the main reason the did so was because the doctor’s office was closed. More than half the respondents in all five states said they would favor additional taxes on sugary drinks and fast food. Most people said a 25% tax was reasonable, and 44% said the tax on sugary drinks could be as high as 50%.

Finally, across all states surveyed, a candidate’s position on health issues would count in the survey respondent’s voting decision. Democrats valued coverage most highly, whereas Republicans valued choice of physician. Two-thirds of Republicans and more than 9 in 10 Democrats say coverage for all US citizens is important.

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