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New National Poll Finds Americans Strongly Opposed to Cutting Medicare Payments for Nursing Home Care as a Means of Financing Health Care Reform
Date:8/31/2009

66% Less Likely to Support Re-Election of Local Member of Congress if Voted for Medicare Cuts

"78% of those over 65 believe nursing home care will get worse because of such cuts"

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As federal lawmakers continue to sound out constituents over the August recess on health care reform, and how best to finance a broad-based overhaul, a new Mellman Group (D) national survey (1000 Registered Voters, 8/21-24, +/- 3%) finds Americans, by significant margins, strongly oppose cutting Medicare-funded nursing home care over other funding options. Underscoring the unpopularity of cutting Medicare-financed nursing home care - now proposed by Congress - the data finds a full 66% of voters less likely to support their local member of Congress for reelection if they voted to cut seniors' Medicare-funded care to finance health care reform, believing that cutting such payments would reduce quality of care.

Says the new Mellman Group poll analysis:

"Voters overwhelmingly oppose cutting Medicare payments to nursing homes as a means of financing healthcare reform, expressing their distaste for this approach in several ways during our brief survey.

First, it is the least popular of the funding options being considered.

Second, cutting Medicare payments to nursing homes is far and away the least acceptable method of financing reform.

Finally, a large majority of voters would feel less favorable toward a Member of Congress who supported such an approach. Voters say they will take out their anger on Members who vote for such nursing home cuts at the ballot box. The reason is straightforward--most Americans believe that cutting such payments will reduce the quality of care seniors receive in nursing homes. While health
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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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