A majority of Arkansans still don’t support Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in Arkansas, according to a Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College poll released yesterday.
From Talk Business:
A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll, conducted Tuesday, June 21, 2016, among 751 likely Arkansas voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%.
Survey respondents were asked:
Q: As you may know, the Arkansas General Assembly recently voted once again to allow Arkansas to spend federal Medicaid dollars to provide private insurance to low-income Arkansans through health care exchanges. Do you support or oppose this health care plan, formerly called the “private option” and now called “Arkansas Works”?
30% Don’t Know
Notice: the question doesn’t ever state that “Arkansas Works” is paid for with Obamacare funding. This was the same kind of messaging used by Gov. Asa Hutchinson and pro-Medicaid expansion Republicans in contested primaries in March.
Earlier this year, pro-expansion Republican legislators produced primary mailers and advertisements explaining how much they hated Obamacare. In February, Hutchinson even held a press conference in support of pro-expansion legislators and tried to “debunk” the link between Medicaid expansion and Obamacare.
This political obfuscation worked for many incumbent Republican legislators in primaries in March; now Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate Conner Eldridge is giving the tactic a try. Here’s a press release earlier this month where he “reaffirms” his support for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion without actually mentioning the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare once.
If you can’t forthrightly talk to Arkansans about the origins of the “private option” or “Arkansas Works” (or whatever new label that Medicaid expansionists come up with next), it’s pretty obvious that the program still isn’t a political winner with Arkansas voters.