A new May 2011 poll by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation suggests most Americans understand the basic goal of the Medicaid program and believe that preserving Medicaid is important.
Of survey participants, 56 percent correctly identified Medicaid as a government program that “is the primary source of health insurance for many low-income families regardless of their age” (vs. 65 percent who correctly identified Medicare as being the program for people over age 65, regardless of income).
Half of respondents said they (20 percent) or a friend or family member (31 percent) had personally benefited from Medicaid assistance. Respondents also want to preserve Medicaid as is: 60 percent say they prefer the current operating model, with “the federal government guaranteeing coverage and setting minimum standards for benefits and eligibility.”
Some 35 percent of respondents said they would prefer changing Medicaid “so that the federal government gives states a fixed amount of money, and each state decides who to cover and what services to pay for.”
To download a pdf of the poll, go to kff.org and use search words “Medicaid poll.” The poll is called “Kaiser Health Tracking Poll – May 2011.”