Louisiana Survey Shows Majority of Louisianans Support State Protections for People with Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

April 11, 2019

Baton Rouge, LA – Researchers in the Public Policy Research Lab at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication found that the majority of people across Louisiana—74 percent—want the state to protect coverage of pre-existing conditions if federal protections are dropped, even if doing so results in higher insurance costs for healthy people. The survey also found that 76 percent of Louisiana residents approve of Medicaid expansion, no matter where they fall on the political scale.

The Louisiana Survey, conducted by PPRL interviewers, polled 917 Louisianans age 18 or older across the state to find out how people from all areas of the state view Louisiana government and its policies. The survey was conducted from February 15 to March 7, and the total sample has a margin of error +/- 4.6 percentage points.

Findings from the fourth of six reports show these key opinions on healthcare:

  • If the courts toss out the federal protection for people with pre-existing health conditions, 74 percent of Louisiana residents want the state to establish its own protections even if doing so results in higher insurance costs for healthy people.
  • Seventy-six percent of Louisiana residents approve of Medicaid expansion. Although Democrats express the highest levels of approval, majorities of Republicans (57 percent) and independents (73 percent) also express favorable opinions of the policy.
  • Emphasizing potential costs of the state’s Medicaid program doubles the size of the gap between Democratic and Republican approval for expansion.
  • Most state residents (55 percent) indicated that they are unsure whether the state has expanded its Medicaid program or not. Only 35 percent of participants correctly believe that the state has expanded its Medicaid program. Ten percent incorrectly believe the state has not expanded the program.

The Louisiana Survey has been conducted annually for the last 18 years (and twice in 2006), establishing rich longitudinal measures of public opinion in Louisiana. The mission of the Louisiana Survey is to establish benchmarks as well as to capture change in residents’ assessments of state government services. The survey is further dedicated to tracking public opinion on the contemporary policy issues that face the state. Each iteration of the Louisiana Survey contains core items designed to serve as barometers of public sentiment, including assessments of whether the state is heading in the right direction or wrong direction, perceptions about the most important problems facing the state, as well as evaluations of public revenue sources and spending priorities.

The survey is a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, an integral part of the Manship School of Mass Communication. The Reilly Center’s mission is to generate thoughtful programs, dialogue and research about mass communication and its many faceted relationships with social, economic and political issues.

Read the full fourth report from the Louisiana Survey here: http://pprllsu.com/projects/. The fifth of six reports from the Louisiana Survey is slated for release on Tuesday, April 16.

For more information, contact smalin@lsu.edu


LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the top schools of mass communication and journalism in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law; and four graduate degree programs: Ph.D. in media and public affairs, master of mass communication, dual MMC/law degree and a graduate certificate in strategic communication. Its public relations, digital advertising and student media teams frequently earn national recognition, including the 2018 national Bateman Case Study Competition of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented, and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.