Kansans Support KanCare Expansion

The tide is shifting in Kansas. A recent statewide public opinion poll shows that Kansas voters overwhelmingly support the proposed expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, KanCare . The Poll finds support for expansion among Republicans, Independents and Democrats.

(Topeka, Kan. – April 29, 2015) – More than two-thirds of Kansas voters support the proposed expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, KanCare, which will cover 160,000 individuals with an income up to 138% of the federal poverty level. An April statewide public opinion poll shows that majorities across all political parties favor KanCare expansion. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Republicans favor expansion by 21 percentage points over Republicans who oppose (37%) expansion in order to maximize federal funds and prevent Kansas tax dollars from going to other states. There also is a high overall level of support for KanCare expansion among Independents (77%) and Democrats (87%) knowing that KanCare expansion would bring more than $2.2 billion in federal dollars to Kansas over the next three years.

Overall, 64% of Kansas residents surveyed supported KanCare expansion in Kansas to cover individuals who have an income level of up to $15,420 annually or 138% of the federal poverty level; 29% were not supportive and 7% were not sure. After learning that KanCare expansion would bring more than $2.2 billion in federal dollars to Kansas over three years, there was an increase in the level of support for KanCare expansion in Kansas. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of residents were supportive, 28% were not supportive and 4% were not sure.

Similarly, 69% of the Kansas residents surveyed felt that Kansas should expand KanCare to maximize funds and prevent Kansas tax dollars from going to other states; 26% disagreed and 6% were not sure. Geographically, support for expansion is high across the state, 60% or more. Support is slightly higher in each of the three large media markets with 63% in Wichita, 66% in Topeka and 68% in Kansas City. There is virtually no gender or age gap on the issue, though men are slightly more supportive of expansion than women, and older men and women are slightly more supportive than younger men and women.

This statewide public opinion poll was conducted by the Public Opinion Strategies from April 23-26, 2015, and can be found on the KHA website at www.kha-net.org. The survey was administered by phone and cell phone to a stratified random sample of 500 likely voters in Kansas. The overall results of the survey have a precision of at least +/- 4.38% at the 95% level of confidence.

The Kansas Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. KHA membership includes 214 member facilities, of which 127 are full-service community hospitals. Founded in 1910, KHA maintains its vision of “an organization of hospitals working together to improve access, quality and the affordability of health care for all Kansans.”

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