LOUISVILLE, KY - February 11, 2020) When it comes to health insurance, Kentucky adults largely have favorable opinions about employer-provided coverage, Medicaid and Medicare, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). But their opinions regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remain split among political party lines, as they have since the health reform law passed Congress in 2010. And about half still say they don't know how the ACA affects them personally.
KHIP, an annual telephone poll of Kentucky adults about health and health policy issues, is sponsored jointly by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health. This latest KHIP report shows that private insurance that people buy on their own (rather than having it provided through an employer) had the lowest level of favorable opinions, but it was still 63 percent favorable compared to 26 percent unfavorable.
"Health care coverage remains a hot-button issue, both politically and personally, but by and large, people like their insurance when they have it," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy. "The expansion of Medicaid helped dramatically reduce our uninsured rate, which is about 6 percent today, and I think this poll shows that it remains a popular safety net program in Kentucky."
KHIP found that more than seven in 10 Kentucky adults have a favorable opinion regarding Medicaid, which allows low-income adults and children to obtain health insurance coverage. Support for Medicaid is strong across all regions of Kentucky, as well as across political parties, although KHIP found it was higher among Democrats (84 percent) than Republicans (69 percent).
The ACA, which allowed states to expand Medicaid eligibility to cover more low-income people, remains controversial, however. While 66 percent of Democrats reported favorable opinions of the law, just 26 percent of Republicans did. Among those who identify as Independents, 35 percent said they had a generally favorable opinion of the ACA.
A copy of the KHIP report, 7 in 10 Kentucky Adults Have a Favorable Opinion About Medicaid, is available here.
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About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $29 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth