Public Opinion Strategies conducted statewide polling of 600 registered voters throughout Florida January 15-17, 2013. The poll has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent for the statewide data. Margins of error for sub-groups vary depending on the size of that group.
A large majority of Floridians (62 percent) say that the state should accept federal money to extend health care coverage when asked:
In order to cover more uninsured adults, the federal government would cover all of the increased costs to expand health care coverage through Medicaid for the first three years. The federal government would then cover 90 percent of the increased costs permanently with the state of Florida paying 10 percent. Knowing this, would you say the state should or should not accept the federal money to expand health care coverage through the Medicaid program to cover more uninsured adults?
The view that the state should accept federal funding and extend coverage is significant with virtually all “swing” voters sub-groups in the state: younger voters (76 percent), self-identified moderates (72 percent), women (69 percent), seniors (63 percent), political independents (61 percent), white women (62 percent), Orlando voters (67 percent) and Tampa voters (59 percent).
Even a majority self-identified “Moderate/Liberal Republicans” (52 percent) support accepting federal funds for coverage.
Respondents identified a wide array of reasons for their support of extended coverage:
- “I have a son who needs a heart transplant who if he didn’t live with me he would be out in the street with no coverage…It doesn’t make any difference where the money comes from, it just has to be made available so all Americans are covered.” –Broward County Female Democrat
- “It’s cheaper to take care of people early than for them to end up in the emergency room and for us to pay their bill. It’s cheaper to take care of people than for the disease to get worse.” –Dade County Male Democrat
- “If there is anybody in need and there are funds available then, yes, help them because it’s the humane thing to do, the right thing to do. We’re all human. We’re all Americans. If you can lend a hand to pull someone out of poverty and help them, then it’s better for everybody. It’s common sense.” –Polk County Male Independent
- “Because it is a human thing to do. It is the moral right thing to do.” –Hillsborough County Male Republican
Taken as a whole, Florida voters are supportive of the state accepting federal funds in order to extend health care coverage. This support is evident particularly with key swing voter groups, and across almost the entire political spectrum. This view is grounded in the belief that extending coverage would benefit Floridians by enabling more people to have coverage, and helping to rein in spiraling health care costs that are passed to the privately insured through hidden taxes.