Utahns appear set to pass full Medicaid expansion by a wide margin in November.

A new UtahPolicy.com/Dan Jones & Associates survey finds 65% of Utahns support Prop. 3, which would have the state take full Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Just 30% of Utahns are opposed to the full expansion, while 5% are undecided.

The only group that does not show majority support for Prop. 3 is Republican voters. 

  • 49% of Republicans support full Medicaid expansion, while 43% are opposed.

  • A whopping 93% of Democratic voters in Utah support Prop. 3.

  • Nearly 3/4ths of unaffiliated voters (73%) are in favor of the ballot initiative.

Prop. 3 would expand Medicaid to low-income Utahns living at 138% of the federal poverty level. That means about $26,000 yearly for a family of three or $15,000 for an individual. That expansion will bring millions of dollars to Utah, as the federal government will pick up 90% of the tab. Under Utah's current, more restrictive Medicaid program, the federal-state split is 70/30. 

To cover the increased cost to the state for covering more people, Prop. 3 raises the state sales tax rate by 0.15%. The fiscal analysis of Prop. 3 says the expansion would increase state costs by $77 million in FY2021, while the sales tax increase would bring in about $90 million in new state revenue. 

Do you support or oppose requiring the state to expand Medicaid as proposed under the Affordable Care Act to all those who qualify up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level? The initiative would raise the state sales tax from 4.7 to 4.85 percent to help pay for expansion of medical benefits to low-income Utahns.

 

Critics of full Medicaid expansion worry the federal government cannot sustain the increased spending to cover more people, which could leave the state on the hook for millions of dollars of healthcare. 

Utah lawmakers passed a Medicaid expansion law during the 2018 session that imposes work requirements on recipients. That plan still needs a waiver from the federal government.

Utah is one of three states considering ballot proposals to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Nebraska and Idaho are the others. Currently, 34 states have expanded Medicaid under the ACA.

Only Utahns on the far right of the political spectrum oppose Prop. 3. 

  • 53% of "very conservative" voters oppose expanding Medicaid. 42% are in favor.

  • 55% of those who say they are "somewhat conservative" support Prop. 3.

  • 78% of moderates in Utah back Prop. 3.

  • 91% of self-described "somewhat liberal" voters support full Medicaid expansion.

  • 97% of "very liberal" Utahns are in favor of taking the full expansion.

LDS voters support giving medical coverage to poorer Utahns, but support is softer among more faithful Mormons than those who are less orthodox. Just 53% of "very active" LDS Church members support Prop. 3. 63% of "somewhat active," and 81% of "not active" Mormons are behind the initiative. 81% of Utah Catholics and 65% of Protestants support the full Medicaid expansion.

The Dan Jones & Associates survey was conducted August 22-31 among 809 likely voters with a margin of error of 3.4%.