A new AARP survey of 800 Missourians age 45 and over shows that 72 percent support expansion of Medicaid to provide health coverage for at least 56,044 uninsured Missouri residents age 50-64. This is based on the number of residents age 50-64 who were living at or below 138 percent of poverty in 2010. The survey also finds that nearly 64 percent of Missouri residents agree with Gov. Jay Nixon's support of accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid.
AARP Volunteer Campaign Manager Ron Sergent, Columbia, and AARP Missouri Advocacy Director Norma Collins shared the survey results with media during a news conference at the State Capitol in Jefferson City. Sergent and Collins were armed with the complete survey report and blow-ups of significant charts that illustrated survey findings.
"Expanding Medicaid will help Missouri's workers who have lost their jobs or are struggling in jobs without health benefits," said Collins. "For older workers hit hardest by the recession and our of the workforce longer than younger workers, this is especially important.."
Support for Medicaid expansion is highest among survey respondents 50-74 at 66 percent. According to a recent Urban Institute report, approximately 320,084 newly eligible Missourians would meet the expansion requirements in 2014.
Collins said, "Expansion can benefit our state because the federal government will provide a 100 percent matching rate. If we do not expand Medicaid, Missouri will have to pay the matching rate of 61 percent for people newly eligible to receive services." Through Medicaid expansion, the need for some state-funded programs would be reduced of eliminated.
Under the Affordable Care Act, states participating in Medicaid expansion will have the same income eligibility standard for adults without dependent children: 138 percent of the federal poverty level, up to $15,000 income for an individual and $32,000 for a family of four. To fund this, the federal government has allocated funds to each state to pay 100 percent of the expansion cost for the first few years, dropping to 90 percent by 2020.
The AARP telephone survey,m conducted March 13-16, 2013 by RDD Field Services, recorded that 90 percent of the respondents had some type of health care coverage. Party affiliation split at 30 percent Republican, 24 percent Democrat, 29 percent Independent, and 12 percent other. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent.
For a copy of the full survey, go to http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-04-2013/2013-aarp-survey-of-45--missouri-residents-on-medicaid-expansion.html.