Prescription bottle with pills

American Medical Association poll: Ohioans don’t want cuts to Medicaid

The survey, sponsored by the American Medical Association and conducted by the Republican polling firm of Public Opinion Strategies, strongly suggests voters in Ohio are sharply opposed to many of the features of the health-care bill on the Senate floor backed to Republican leaders and President Donald Trump.

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The poll shows that 47 percent of Ohio voters say federal and state spending for Medicaid should remain the same while 32 percent want to see spending increased. The poll also shows that 59 percent of Ohio voters approve of the Medicaid program in the state as it now exists.

In addition, the poll shows that voters adamantly oppose a Republican health-care version approved last month by the House, with just 7 percent of Ohio voters wanting the Senate to pass the House bill as written.

Both House and Senate Republicans want to scrap large sections of the 2010 health law signed by former President Barack Obama and known as Obamacare. But 48 percent of Ohio voters say they approve of Obamacare while just 37 percent oppose it.

Obamacare had extended coverage to millions of Americans through federally subsidized individual insurance plans and expanded eligibility to Medicaid. The House bill ends Medicaid expansion in 2020 while the Senate bill gradually scales back federal dollars for Medicaid expansion before ending it entirely in 2024.

Obamacare allowed states to provide Medicaid coverage to families of four earning as much as $33,948 a year, which is 138 percent above the federal poverty line.

Even under the House and Senate Republican plans, overall Medicaid spending is expected to increase throughout the next decade.

But both the House and Senate bill would scale back the projected growth rate in Medicaid spending, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO concluded Monday that the Senate bill would lead to an increase of the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million in 2026.

The poll of 600 registered voters in Ohio was conducted from June 13 through June 17, before Senate GOP leaders released their version of the bill.

The AMA announced its opposition to the Senate bill Monday.

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