LOUISIANA SURVEY RESULTS: Louisiana Residents See Healthcare Cuts as Unnecessary, Believe State Government Should Accept Medicaid Expansion
BATON ROUGE – In Louisiana, healthcare and higher education receive most of the burden of state budget cuts. So how does the public perceive these cuts – as necessary belt-tightening or unnecessary cuts to important government services?
The LSU Public Policy Research Lab, or PPRL, supported by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at the Manship School of Mass Communication, released results showing that nearly two-thirds of Louisiana residents – 65 percent – view ongoing cuts to state health care as unnecessary. In contrast, only 15 percent said the cuts were “unfortunate but necessary given tight budgets” and only 17 percent said the cuts were needed to achieve greater efficiency in the delivery of services.
Kirby Goidel, PPRL director, said, “While the public supports smaller government in the abstract, the rubber hits road when they begin to fill the effect of cuts on services they see as vital.”
In the context of ongoing cuts, Louisiana residents – by overwhelming margins – believe state government should accept federal money to expand the Medicaid program for uninsured adults. Seventy percent of residents said state government should accept money to expand the Medicaid program while 24 percent said the state should reject the money.
This is a much higher number than the 51 percent support reported earlier in the year by Voter Consumer Research. The difference, Goidel explains, is in the question wording.
“We asked a very simple question without providing the arguments for or against,” he said. “Taken in the context of the other survey, we would expect support for the Medicaid expansion to decline as citizens learn more about the issue and think more about the costs associated with accepting the expansion.”
For more information about the survey, visit www.survey.lsu.edu.
About the Louisiana Survey:
The 2013 Louisiana Survey includes a traditional landline telephone survey combined with a survey of Louisiana cell phone users. The results presented here have been weighted to reflect current population demographics as reflected in the most recent available Census data. The combined survey includes 930 respondents including 574 respondents selected from landline telephone numbers via random-digit dialing and 356 respondents selected from available cell phone blocks. Interviews were conducted from Feb. 8 to March 17, 2013. The overall survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.