A wide majority of Mississippians across partisan and demographic lines supports expanding Medicaid to provide health coverage for the working poor, according to a newly released Mississippi Today/Siena College poll. The poll showed 80% of respondents — including 70% of Republicans — either strongly agree or somewhat agree the state should “accept federal funds to expand Medicaid.” The numbers appear to show a continued shift of voter sentiment in what has long been a partisan battle. Mississippi’s elected Republican governors and other leaders for the last decade have blocked Medicaid expansion via the Affordable Care Act and the billions in federal dollars that would have come with it. This resistance continues even as struggling hospitals and more citizens in the poorest, unhealthiest state cry for help. “Yes, I support it,” said Joy Cevera, 60, a Republican voter from Oxford who said she generally supports Gov. Tate Reeves but disagrees with him on Medicaid expansion. Several poll respondents agreed to talk with Mississippi Today about their responses. For Cevera, a disability-retired cook, the issue is personal.
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