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AFP-NEBRASKA POLL RESULTS ON MEDICAID EXPANSION, TAXES

February 19, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2014
CONTACT: Matt Litt at infone@afphq.org

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AFP-NEBRASKA POLL RESULTS ON MEDICAID EXPANSION, TAXES

A survey of frequent voting general election voters in the State of Nebraska was conducted from February 3-5, 2014.  Live interviews were completed from 603 respondents weighted based upon age, gender, and congressional district according to each segment’s turnout in the last two statewide off-year elections.  The Margin of Error is 3.99% at the 95% Confidence Interval.  Key results of the electorate’s attitudes on current issues facing Nebraska are summarized below.

State Issues

The most important issue on the minds of voters as they think about making decisions on State Offices in the upcoming General Election is state taxes, followed by jobs and economy and health care.  The relative rank differed slightly by gender, Women viewed jobs and economy as most important with health care effectively tied for 2nd.  Men, on the other hand placed state taxes first followed by jobs and economy.

Ballot Question

Thinking about the upcoming November General Election in which you will vote for various state offices such as Governor and members of the Nebraska Unicameral which of the following issues are most important to you in making your decision for whom to cast your ballot?

Affordable Care Act

Voters overwhelmingly reject the legislation commonly referred to as Obamacare by more than a 2-to-1 margin (64% to 30%).  Not surprisingly the margin of those ‘Strongly Opposed’ over those who ‘Strongly Support’ is greater than 2.5-to-1 (56% to 20%).  Opposition is strongest among Republicans (85%) followed by Non Partisan voters (55%).

Ballot Question

Do you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act commonly referred to as Obamacare?

Medicaid Expansion

When voters are provided with a series of facts related to Medicaid expansion in Nebraska under the President’s health care law, they are resoundingly less supportive of the idea.  Sixty-one (61%) percent of voters are less supportive of expanding Medicaid in Nebraska after learning that it will cost Nebraska taxpayers an additional $267 million over the next decade.  Fifty-one (51%) percent feel the same after learning Nebraska’s spending will increase by 3.7% over what the state would spend without Obamacare.

When asked their level of agreement or disagreement with public statements made in relationship to Medicaid Expansion, by a 59%-33% margin voters agree with the assessment that Obamacare is a ‘train wreck’ and our Nebraska lawmakers would be protecting the state by rejecting Medicaid expansion.

 AFP NEBRASKA POLL RESULTS ON MEDICAID EXPANSION, TAXES

Geographically, Nebraska’s Third Congressional District (NE-3) registers the strongest agreement at 66% while NE-1 and NE-2 are 51% and 57% respectively.

A similar margin, 58%-33%, concur that with the fiscal mess at the federal level our elected officials would be protecting the state from potentially picking up any additional costs of Medicaid expansion should Washington fail to deliver on its’ commitment.  While a majority of all age groups and genders agree with this assessment it is highest among those aged 45 to 54 years (72%) and Men (63%).

Ballot Questions

After hearing each of the following facts concerning Medicaid please indicate whether it makes you more or less supportive of expanding Medicaid under the President’s health care law in Nebraska?

If Medicaid were expanded, it would cost Nebraska taxpayers an additional $267 million over the next decade.

If Medicaid were expanded, the additional spending would amount to a 3.7% increase in what Nebraska would have spent without the President’s health care law.

Now I’d like to read you a few statements related to Medicaid expansion in Nebraska.  For each, please indicate whether you agree or disagree.

Even supporters of Obamacare have called the law a ‘train wreck.’  Nebraska lawmakers should focus on protecting our state by rejecting Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

Washington has run out of money, and by rejecting Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, Nebraska lawmakers would protect our state from having to foot the bill when Washington once again fails to deliver.

State Taxes

As previously discussed, state taxes are the most important issue for voters when making decisions on candidates for Nebraska State offices in the upcoming 2014 General Election.  Sixty (60%) percent of respondents believe Nebraska’s state income, sales, property and business taxes are too high.  Thirty-five (35%) percent feel they are about right while only 3% think they are too low. Not surprisingly the intensity of this belief increases at each of the five (5) age groups from 18 to 64 years old until leveling off for those over the age of 65.

 AFP NEBRASKA POLL RESULTS ON MEDICAID EXPANSION, TAXES

Those holding the view that Nebraska’s taxes are too high are asked a follow-up question as to which specific tax they want to see lowered.  Two-thirds (67%) believe property taxes need lowering followed by 21% who want to see decreases in state income taxes.  This is consistent across Congressional Districts though NE-1 records the highest support (71%) for a reduction in property taxes.

Ballot Questions

Do you think taxes in Nebraska such as: state income, sales, property and business taxes are: too high, too low, or about right?

As far as you and your family are concerned, which state tax would you most like to see lowered?

Summary

When it comes to statewide issues impacting their decision-making process for Nebraska office seekers in the 2014 General Election, Nebraskan’s are concerned about state taxes, jobs and economy, and health care.  Nebraskan’s resoundingly reject Obamacare (64%) with even a simple majority (56%) strongly opposed to it.  Not surprisingly this attitude spills over into the Affordable Care Act’s provision for the expansion of Medicaid in Nebraska.  After learning of the $267 million price tag over the next decade resulting in an additional 3.7% in state spending, voters are 61 and 51 percent less supportive, respectively, of expanding Medicaid in Nebraska.  Voters identify most strongly with public statements comparing the President’s health care law to a ‘train wreck’ and a desire to see Nebraska’s lawmakers protect our state from the related Medicaid expansion (59%-33%) especially when it comes to the prospect of the federal government not meeting their funding commitment to it (58%-33%).

Finally, when it comes to their greatest state concern, 60 percent of voters believe state taxes are too high.  The intensity of this view increases with age until leveling off for those over 65 years of age.  When asked to identify the specific tax most in need of being lowered, two-thirds (67%) of these voters identify property taxes as their biggest priority followed by state income taxes (21%).

Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska (AFP-NE) is a statewide organization committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP-NE believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring prosperity for all Americans. AFP-NE educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP-NE has more than 40,000 members.

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