Florida Medicaid Expansion
The state of Florida has not yet expanded Medicaid to those at 138 percent of the poverty line, as allowed by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, depriving nearly a million residents of the state health insurance. New research from Data for Progress shows that Medicaid expansion enjoys majority support in every congressional and state legsislative district.
Medicaid expansion likely enjoys majority support in all of Florida's state legislative and Congressional districts. While the variation in our estimates is high, especially in Florida's numerous State House districts, the average level of support for Medicaid expansion across all three chambers is about 65%.
Support for Medicaid expansion is highest among self-reported likely voters who are women, black, and voters who are low-income (earning less than $30,000 per year). Medicaid expansion also enjoys majority support among traditionally conservative-leaning subgroups like white males, roughly 53% of whom reported supporting Medicaid expansion.
In context, Medicaid expansion enjoys a higher level of approval in Florida than Rick Scott (~50% statewide), Marco Rubio (~55% statewide), or Bill Nelson (~58% statewide).
Uncertainty in our estimates:
We note that because of the constraints in the measurement process there is considerable uncertainty in some of our estimates, particularly at low levels of geography like the Florida House of Delegates. But across almost all districts in our sample, across the entire range of plausible outcomes, we find support for Medicaid expansion in Florida. Here, each plot shows one level of Florida political geography with our estimates flowing from the bottom of the range of estimates (the least favorable extreme of the standard errors of our model), to the mean estimate, up to the top of the range of estimates (the most favorable extreme of the standard errors of our model). Note that almost all districts are blue across almost all plausible outcomes of our estimates. Here, the color scheme indicates that districts that are more blue are more favorable to Medicaid expansion in Florida. Viewed this way, we see that even with considerable uncertainty the general popularity of Medicaid expansion in Florida is clear.
The standard errors used to compute this range of outcomes come from the models above and are consistent with the levels of uncertainty shown in the error bar plots. The image is timed such that the least plausible outcomes (both on the favorable end and the unfavorable end of estimated Medicaid approval) are not shown for as long as the more likely estimates, those within one standard error of the mean.
Understanding the uncertainty in our estimates is important, but the overall conclusion of our analysis is clear, even accounting for the possible range of true public opinion levels across Florida's state legislative and Congressional districts. As we have emphasized in our editorial work, and in coverage of our analysis of Medicaid in Florida, Medicaid expansion is overwhelmingly popular. Our data could not produce a single legislator at any level of government in Florida who is personally more popular than Medicaid expansion.