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POLL: Texans Sharply Disagree With Rick Perry On Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion

By Sy Mukherjee

"POLL: Texans Sharply Disagree With Rick Perry On Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion"

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President Barack Obama is expected to pressure Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) to extend basic health coverage to 1.5 million of his state’s poorest residents by accepting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion during an event in Dallas on Wednesday. While Perry hasn’t exactly been shy about his opposition to that ACA provision, his constituents have a markedly different view, according to a new poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune.

In addition to wide-ranging support for various ACA components such as insurance subsidies for low-income Americans and tax credits to businesses for providing health coverage, the poll finds that two-thirds of Texans support Medicaid expansion. Over 35 percent of the respondents even said that they “strongly support” the policy:

UTT Obamacare poll

CREDIT: University of Texas/Texas Tribune

Strikingly, the poll also found that respondents widely disapproved of “Obamacare” as a whole. Just a third of those surveyed viewed the health law very or somewhat favorably, while a full 46 percent viewed it very unfavorably.

That tracks with the vast majority of polling on Obamacare, which has found that the law’s individual provisions and consumer protections are widely popular despite continued ambivalence towards the abstract concept of “Obamacare.” For instance, one Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) tracking poll also found the Medicaid expansion, the health law’s insurance subsidies, and small business tax credits to be overwhelmingly popular — but significantly fewer numbers of Americans are aware that those are actual provisions of the health law.

At the moment, it seems unlikely that Perry will join fellow GOP governors like Jan Brewer (R-AZ), John Kasich (R-OH), Rick Snyder (R-MI), and many others in embracing the Medicaid expansion. “Texas will not be held hostage by the Obama administration’s attempt to force us into the fool’s errand of adding more than a million Texans to a broken system,” said Perry in April, likening the social insurance program for the poor to a bad April Fool’s Day joke.

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