60% Of KY GOPers Buck McConnell, Support Medicaid Expansion

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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A solid majority of Kentucky Republicans support the state’s decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, according to a new poll, standing in stark contrast to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s opposition to the provision.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky poll, reported by NPR-affiliated WFPL, found that 60 percent of self-identified Republicans said they support expansion. In total, 79 percent of Kentuckians agree with Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s decision to expand coverage to low-income people under the health care reform law.

In a statement to WFPL, McConnell spokesman Robert Steurer dismissed the findings.

“Most new Obamacare enrollees are not on private plans, but are added to the state’s struggling Medicaid program,” he said, “where one hundred percent of these costs will be picked up by taxpayers and where there is already a shortage of physicians accepting Medicaid patients.”

More than 120,000 Kentuckians have enrolled in Medicaid through the state’s Obamacare website since it launched in October, according to Beshear’s office, though that number includes some people who were previously eligible for the program.

The poll, conducted from Oct. 25 to Nov. 26 by the Policy Research Center at the University of Cincinnati and funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, surveyed 1,551 adults. It has a margin of error of 2.5 percent.

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