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Survey: Majority of Americans approve Medicaid expansion

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A new survey finds that more Americans believe their state should expand its Medicaid program than those who oppose such a move, although the results are sharply divided along party lines and reflect the political debate raging in statehouses across the country.

The Kaiser Family Foundation said 52 percent of those surveyed support the expansion, while 42 percent do not. However, 66 percent of Republicans say their state should maintain the status quo on Medicaid and 75 percent of Democrats support the expansion called for under President Obama’s health care law, according to the survey released Thursday.

Republican-led states around the country are having a hard time deciding whether to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid to residents whose incomes reaches up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, a key part of Mr. Obama’s law that the U.S. Supreme Court deemed optional.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is one Republican governor has decided to accept the additional funds, while governors in Georgia and Mississippi have balked at the expansion out of fear the state will be forced to shoulder an ever-rising share of Medicaid costs in the years ahead.

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