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New National Poll: Majority of American Voters Oppose Bush Administration's Proposed Cuts to Medicare

61% Less Likely to Re-Elect Their U.S. Representative if they Support Administration's Medicare Cuts

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Congress prepares to begin debate on the Bush Administration's proposed FY 2009 budget containing five-year, $24 billion cuts to Medicare's nursing home benefit, a new national survey conducted by Zogby International for the American Health Care Association (AHCA) finds 63 percent of likely voters oppose the cut while nearly half "strongly oppose" the Administration proposal.

Notably, 56.9 percent of Democrats "strongly oppose" the Medicare cuts, as do 47.1 percent of Independents and 31.3 percent of Republicans. Further, 61 percent of the total sample said they would be less likely to re-elect their U.S. Representative if he or she voted for the Administration's budget that includes the Medicare cuts. The Zogby survey of 1105 likely U.S. voters, conducted 2/13 - 2/16, has an error margin of +/- 3 percent.

In releasing the new data, Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA said, "This new poll, coming at a critical time in the budget process, shows strong bipartisan opposition to the Medicare cuts contained in the Administration's budget plan. Our profession intends to clearly outline both here in Washington and in key states and congressional districts how these cuts would undermine seniors' care quality, threaten facilities' staffing enhancement initiatives, and because of the growing cross-subsidization problem, further destabilize state Medicaid programs."

According to Zogby, the top-line results of the poll are as follows:

A majority of respondents (63%) oppose cuts and freezes for the Medicare nursing home benefit, and of those individuals, 45% say they strongly oppose such cuts.

Overall a majority of respondents (61%) say they would be less likely to vote for their representative in Congress should he or she vote to approve the 2009 federal budget as proposed, which includes a reduction in funding and caps increase to Medicare aid for nursing homes.

According to the poll, half of all respondents say they think "a negative impact on the quality of care for seniors" would be the outcome if cuts and reductions to the growth of Medicare funding for nursing homes are approved this year, and 12% say they think those changes "could force seniors to relocate many miles from family and friends."

A strong majority of respondents (73%) say they would support a presidential candidate who will not reduce Medicare funding for nursing homes. Those individuals say they agree most with statement 'A,' which says such reductions could lead to a loss of jobs, less quality care and could make it difficult for seniors to find a nursing home close to friends.

SOURCE American Health Care Association
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