FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 3, 2021
RALEIGH, N.C. – In a new statewide poll of registered Republican voters, over 52% of respondents said they supported expanding Medicaid in North Carolina. Support increased to over 62% of respondents once they learned more about who in North Carolina would be eligible for health coverage under the proposal. The poll was conducted on October 26-28, 2021, with 600 voters responding.
“While GOP lawmakers continue to debate the issue, it is clear that expanding Medicaid is supported and embraced by core GOP voters once they learn of the benefits and of those eligible,” said Paul Shumaker of Strategic Partners Solutions, who conducted the poll.
In Western North Carolina, where the uninsured rate is as high as 1 in 4 adults, some local Republican leaders have been vocal about their support for closing the “coverage gap.”
“It could help us fight the opioid crisis that our law enforcement officers struggle with every day, create jobs here in Macon County, and help over 1,000 of our local residents secure access to health care,” said Jim Tate, Republican chair of the Macon County Commission.
In August, Tate voted with other leaders in Macon County to pass a resolution to send to the North Carolina General Assembly asking them to close the health insurance coverage gap in North Carolina.
Understanding that working people would qualify for expanded Medicaid drew the strongest support from poll respondents. Of those who would be eligible for expanded Medicaid in North Carolina, three-fourths of them are already working, many in more than one job. When informed that anyone who is not already working would be required to enroll in a workforce development program, 75.5% said they would favor to only 14.3% who said they were opposed.
Voters also responded strongly to learning that Medicaid coverage would help people get the medication and treatment they need for chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases. 71.5% of Republicans said they would favor while 14.7% said they opposed.
“Access to healthcare is good for all North Carolinians,” said Dr. Roxie Wells, President of Cape Fear Valley Hoke Hospital. “It’s good for Democrats and Republicans alike. Our goal should be a healthy North Carolina. Expanding Medicaid adds to our ability to reach that goal.”
“In North Carolina we have upwards of 100,000 parents with children at home who are in the coverage gap with no way to get health insurance,” said Michelle Hughes, Executive Director of NC Child. “They come from every background and political stripe. Every parent – regardless of their political affiliation – needs to be able to take care of their health, so they can take care of their kids.”
The poll was conducted by Strategic Partners Solutions, on behalf of NC Child, a statewide non-profit organization.