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Poll Finds Americans See Long-term Services and Supports as a Priority, Not an Option, for Health Care Reform
Date:5/21/2009

WASHINGTON, May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Eighty-five percent of Americans believe that long-term services and supports should be included in national health care reform, and will frankly be surprised if they are not, according to a poll conducted by the Mellman Group, sponsored by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA).

In a poll of 1,000 adults nationwide, 85 percent of respondents feel that health care reform should include the broad range of services and supports people need when they can no longer independently care for themselves because of age, chronic disease, or serious injury. Seventy-five percent reported they strongly support the inclusion of long-term services and supports in health care reform. Large majorities across age, gender, region and income-level, believe long-term services and supports should be covered under national health care reform. Only 13 percent of respondents felt strongly these services and supports should not be covered.

"These results prove once again that Americans do not draw the artificial line between acute care and long-term services and supports that policy makers used to exclude long-term services and supports from health care reform discussions," said AAHSA CEO Larry Minnix. "It's time for Congress to recognize that long-term services and supports are a part of health care that voters expect Congress to address before the baby boomers strain an already strapped system."

Other results include:

  • More than half of Americans (51 percent) feel strongly that with so many Americans needing help caring for the elderly and disabled, no health care reform plan is complete unless it addresses long-term services and supports.
  • A majority of adults believe that offerings like care for people with Alzheimer's disease (61 percent), assisted living (57 percent), and assistance for an older or disabled person in taking their medications (64 percent) will be covered when health care reform is enacted.

"This study builds on a number of studies that have repeatedly shown that Americans are concerned about long-term services and supports and view it as part of the need for health reform," said Mark Mellman, CEO of the Mellman Group.

These findings were taken from a national survey of 1,000 adults interviewed by telephone May 14-18, 2009. To insure an unbiased sample, random-digit-dialing techniques were used. The margin of error for this survey is +/-3.0% at the 95 percent level of confidence and is higher for subgroups.

About AAHSA

The members of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (www.aahsa.org) help millions of individuals and their families every day through mission-driven, not-for-profit organizations dedicated to providing the services that people need, when they need them, in the place they call home. Our 5,300 member organizations, many of which have served their communities for generations, offer the continuum of aging services: adult day services, home health, community services, senior housing, assisted living residences, continuing care retirement communities and nursing homes. AAHSA's commitment is to create the future of aging services through quality people can trust.

About The Mellman Group

The Mellman Group provides research and strategic advice to clients ranging from the Majority Leaders of both the U.S. House and Senate to Fortune magazine, from the National Education Association to United Airlines, from Intuit (the makers of Quicken) to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Many of the nation's leading companies, membership organizations, public interest groups, government agencies, foundations, and political figures have turned to The Mellman Group for carefully researched, unbiased evaluations of public opinion.


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SOURCE American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
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