The 2017 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) asked Kentucky adults their views about health care access across the Commonwealth. KHIP is sponsored by Interact for Health and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
In 2014, Kentucky expanded eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. As a result, the number of uninsured Kentuckians dropped considerably. In 2016, Governor Matt Bevin proposed a Medicaid 1115 waiver that would make changes to the Medicaid program in Kentucky. This waiver was approved in January 2018. It is possible that the waiver will have an impact on the number of people enrolled in Medicaid in the future.1
In 2017, KHIP asked, “Suppose the Commonwealth of Kentucky is unable to afford health coverage for everyone who is eligible for the Kentucky Medicaid Program. Which of the following options would you most like to see Kentucky lawmakers choose to address this?” Respondents could choose one of six options or “don’t know.” (See graph on first page.) The option most frequently chosen was to increase the tax on cigarettes. Nearly half of Kentucky adults (46%) chose this. Two options tied as the next most frequent choice. More than 1 in 10 Kentucky adults chose to cut other state funded programs (13%) or to reduce the number of adults who receive health coverage through Medicaid (13%).
KHIP also asked about the health reform law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), that passed in 2010.
In 2017, more adults reported a favorable than unfavorable opinion of the ACA. (See graph on first page.) More than 4 in 10 Kentucky adults reported a favorable opinion of the ACA (44%). That’s up from 40% in 2016. About 3 in 10 Kentucky adults reported an unfavorable opinion of the law (33%), down from 46% in 2016. More than 2 in 10 Kentucky adults said they don’t know (23%). The percentage of adults with a favorable opinion of the ACA has been increasing since 2010.2
In 2017, KHIP asked, “Regardless of whether you favor or oppose the health reform law, generally speaking do you favor or oppose providing access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans?” About 9 in 10 Kentucky adults (87%) favored providing access to affordable health care for all Americans. That’s more than in 2013 (81%), the last time KHIP asked this question. Only 1 in 10 Kentucky adults (10%) opposed providing access to affordable health care for all Americans. Majorities of Kentucky adults in all political parties were in favor.
1 More details available at: Kaiser Family Foundation. (2018). Approved Changes to Medicaid in Kentucky. Accessed Jan. 18, 2018, from https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/approved-changes-to-medicaid-in-kentucky/.
2 KHIP asked, “Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?”
Interact for Health regularly conducts research and collects data in order to monitor and evaluate our region’s health status and to measure public opinions about health policy.
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