BATON ROUGE – Results from the 2017 Louisiana Survey show that Louisiana residents approve of the state’s decision to expand its Medicaid program last year under the auspices of the federal Affordable Care Act, or ACA, but remain deeply divided over the ACA itself.
The Louisiana Survey is an annual project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, which identifies the opinions of Louisiana residents on important public policy areas and shares those opinions with state policy decision makers.
About three fourths of residents (72 percent) approve of expansion. Approval of the move extends across a number of demographic and political groups. Democrats (91 percent) and independents (73 percent) approve of Medicaid expansion. While Republicans are less enthusiastic about the policy, they lean toward approval (51 percent approval versus 45 percent disapproval).
Overall, just 42 percent of state residents have a favorable opinion of the ACA. About half of the state’s adult population (51 percent) have an unfavorable opinion of the federal health care law. There are large cleavages by race, household income and partisanship. Indeed, 76 percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of the law, while 80 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable opinion.
Nevertheless, opinion of the ACA is moving in a more favorable direction. The share of respondents with an unfavorable opinion of the ACA in 2017 is 7 percentage points lower than it was in 2014 (58 percent), and the share with a favorable opinion is 11 percentage points higher than it was three years ago (31 percent). The shift in opinion has been especially pronounced among Democrats and independents.
About the Louisiana Survey
Since 2003, the Louisiana Survey has tracked public opinion about policy issues in the state. The 2017 Louisiana Survey was administered over the telephone from Feb. 23 to March 23, 2017, to both landline and cell phone respondents. The project includes a representative sample of 1,012 adult Louisiana residents. The total sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
A copy of the report is available at http://pprllsu.com/projects/. This is the fifth in a series of six releases on results from the 2017 Louisiana Survey:
Part One: Public Supports Raising Taxes to Fund Key Services, But Which Kind of Taxes Remains
Part Two: More Optimism about Direction of State, But Few Say Economy Improving
Part Three: Large Majority Favors Criminal Justice Reform
Part Four: Majority Think Women Face Discrimination, Favor Equal Pay
Contact Michael Henderson
Public Policy Research Lab
LSU Media Relations