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Category: politics

Idahoans overwhelmingly support expanding the federal Medicaid program, a new poll shows.

But it’s highly questionable whether the GOP-controlled Legislature will do so during the 2015 general session, which starts today.

Idaho Politics Weekly finds in a new Dan Jones & Associates survey that 61 percent of registered voters in Idaho support expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Only 29 percent of voters oppose such an expansion, Jones found in a recent survey of 520 voters. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent.

A recent news article quotes legislative GOP leaders saying they doubt their House and Senate members will vote for the expansion, while Democratic leaders say their members support such an expansion.

Republicans dominate the Legislature.

And like many of their counterparts across the nation, they dislike just about everything about Obamacare.

The new GOP-controlled Congress will likely vote to repeal the president’s signature national healthy care reform, but Barack Obama promises to veto such an attempt.

In the Idaho survey Jones finds that support for Medicaid expansion – where for the first several years the federal government will pay all the expansion cost and after three years pay $9 for every $10 spent – is even found among Idaho GOP rank-and-file.

Fifty-three percent of Republicans either “strongly” or “somewhat” support Medicaid expansion.

Democrats really, really want the expansion: 91 percent favor it.

Political independents favor expansion of the low-income health care plan 64-23 percent.

A special Medicaid working group set up by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, R-Idaho, two months ago modified their recommendations in an attempt to placate Republican lawmakers.

But at a press conference last week GOP legislative leaders expressed doubt whether their members will go along with that group’s recommendations.