Original post date: March 25, 2013
Article by: Anonymous

5/8/2023 Edits: Some links that were no longer working have been fixed.

The James Madison Institute in Tallahassee published a poll inquiring about Floridians’ support of the recently endorsed Medicaid expansion. The poll revealed that 59% of respondents oppose the expansion, but these conclusions elicited some criticism from Josh Barro at Bloomberg View.

The poll started off with a few general questions about the state of Florida’s economy, and the increasing National Debt, and then segued into Medicaid. According to Barro, the poll’s initial questions were priming respondents by giving them a negative sense of the economy and future spending, in order to procure a majority against the expansion. Barro also takes issue with the phrasing of the question asking whether or not the respondent is in favor of the expansion, because it adds the clause “even if it results in tax hikes and spending cuts.”

Michael Cannon, the Director of Health Policy Studies at Cato Institute, insists that this is not the case, and that the questions are far less insidious than Barro implies. Cannon argues that this isn’t “priming,” or a “push poll,” or subliminally coercive in any way- it’s just asking about benefits and including cost information.

Many polls ask about the benefits of the Medicaid expansion without even mentioning costs which, as Canon points out, is more contrived than providing a balanced poll that addresses both. The poll resulted in a majority opposed to the expansion, and perhaps this is because respondents in Florida really don’t think an expansion is worth the price.


Michael Cannon Article on Cato:


JMI Poll:


Barro Article on Bloomberg:


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