JACKSON, Miss - As the reputation of Mississippi's political leadership continues to take a beating, a new Mason Dixon poll further indicates that Mississippians are increasingly frustrated by the politicized nature of nearly every issue in this state.  Nowhere is this more true than in the debate around healthcare that has left billions of federal dollars on the table and neglected the health care needs of thousands of Mississippians. By a 17 point margin, Mississippi voters favor expanding Medicaid to provide much needed coverage to nearly 300,000 low-income adults. 

 

"This poll's numbers tell us that Medicaid expansion remains a concern for Mississippians and regardless of political affiliation, the issue is being recognized by Mississippi voters as a missed economic opportunity," said Roy Mitchell, Executive Director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program.

 

A similar poll was done in April of 2015.  A  year later, more Mississippians recognize Medicaid expansion as a resolution to our critical economic and health care delivery problems.  Meanwhile, Mississippi continues to see a decline in access to care that could be significantly improved by an expansion of Mississippi's Medicaid program.  

 

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research talked with 625 registered Mississippi voters in late March. Mason-Dixon asked voters to consider the financial cost of Medicaid expansion to the state (Mississippi will pay up to a 10% share for expanding coverage) and the financial benefit to Mississippi (the federal government will provide the state with $8.7 billion dollars through 2020). Considering those facts, more Mississippians,63% this year supported Medicaid expansion while only 28% opposed.  Contrary to the political rhetoric, the support grew even amongst Republicans, going up to 46% this year from 33% last year.

 

"These results tell us that the tide is changing in Mississippi on this issue. Mississippi Republicans and Democrats alike recognize a good deal for the state.  Governor Bryant may well be the last man standing in front of a multi-billion dollar economic train," says Mitchell.

 

As more states expand their Medicaid programs or explore other models for expanding access, it becomes very clear that once again, Mississippi's leadership is working hard to keep Mississippi at the bottom.  Where states that have expanded Medicaid are thriving, in states like Mississippi, the working poor are forced to seek emergency room care and the hospitals are left with the bill.

 

Statewide, the survey found that:

 

- 53% support an expansion to cover those who make less than $15,420.

 

- 63% support accepting $8.7 billion in federal assistance in exchange for a maximum state investment of $40 million.

 

- 55% support accepting federal funding rather than have the money go to other states.

 

About the Poll

 

This poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida from March 28 through March 30, 2016. A total of 625 registered Mississippi voters were interviewed statewide by telephone. Those interviewed on land-lines were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers.  A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Those interviewed on cell phones were selected from a list of working cell phone numbers.  Quotas were assigned to reflect voter registration by county. The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than ±4 percentage points.  This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if all voters were surveyed.  The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender or racial grouping. 

 

Media Contact: Roy Mitchell- 601.353.0845 or Email: roym@mhap.org.