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Republican and Democratic Voters View Home Care as a Solution to Rising Medicare Spending, Harris Survey Finds
Date:8/19/2008

Four Out of Five Voters Favor Stronger Coverage for Wheelchairs, Oxygen, and Other Home Medical Equipment and Services

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly three out of four (74 percent) American voters agree that, "home care is part of the solution to the problem of rapidly increasing Medicare spending for America's seniors." Voters age 55-plus are even more likely to agree (81 percent).

A national telephone survey of 1,000 American adults conducted by Harris Interactive found that strong majorities of both Democrats and Republicans (76 percent each) support home care as a key step toward curbing Medicare spending. The survey was commissioned by the American Association for Homecare and was conducted by Harris Interactive, which conducts The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls.

Both Senators Barack Obama and John McCain and have identified Medicare as a federal program that needs to be more cost-effective. Sen. McCain noted earlier this year that health programs should provide "incentives for home healthcare as opposed to long-term care."

Approximately eight million Americans require some type of medical care in their home, which reduces the length of hospital stays and keeps many Americans out of hospitals and nursing homes.

"Home care is cost-effective and it provides independence for seniors and people with disabilities," said Tyler J. Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare. "Spending on home medical equipment and services represents less than two percent of the Medicare budget, and it's the slowest-growing sector of Medicare."

Wilson called on Washington policymakers to preserve consumers' option of receiving home-based care through the following steps:

-- Strengthen the nation's infrastructure for providing home medical equipment and services rather than arbitrarily reducing the number of accredited providers in Medicare. The Harris s
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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