Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nationwide Poll: Americans Say No To Medicaid Cuts

Coming on the heels of a major research report finding that long term care is paid less on an hourly basis than the national minimum wage, a new nationwide poll shows that 65 percent of Americans would oppose further cuts to funding for long term care.

"As a former governor, I know firsthand the difficult decisions lawmakers face during these tough economic times," stated Governor Mark Parkinson, President & CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA). "Despite the nation's fiscal difficulties, the American people are very clear on where they don't want cuts - at the expense of the frail and elderly."

According to the survey results, there is broad concern among likely voters of the impact inadequate funding - specifically Medicaid - has on the nation's seniors. Supporting those concerns, researcher Eljay yesterday release new projections showing that state Medicaid programs underfunded nursing facility care by $5.6 billion in 2010 - on average paying only $7.17 per hour per patient, less than the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

"America's greatest generation deserves a secure health care delivery system," concluded Parkinson. "This poll shows the bottom line fact that Americans recognize the critical importance of stable funding for the care of seniors in our facilities."

The survey was conducted by Zogby International via an interactive poll of 2,067 likely voters from 1/7/11 to 1/10/11 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.

Top-line results of the survey from Zogby include:

About two-thirds of likely voters (65%) say they oppose policies that resulted in cuts to Medicaid funding for nursing home care for America's poor and elderly. A plurality (40%) say they strongly oppose such cuts to nursing home care.

A strong majority (66%) say they would oppose policies that resulted in additional cuts to Medicare funding for nursing home care for seniors, with 39% saying they strongly oppose such action.

Nearly three-quarters of likely voters (72%) say the Federal Government's role in helping states meet their financial obligations to cover programs such as Medicaid is important, with nearly half (45%) saying it is very important.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of likely voters say they support extending additional Medicaid funding to state governments in response to state deficits and economic difficulties, with a third (33%) saying they strongly support such action.

To access the full poll results or the analysis from Eljay, A Report on Shortfalls in Medicaid Funding For Nursing Home Care, please visit here.

American Health Care Association

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