2014

Statewide Poll: Louisiana Seniors Support Action to Prevent Proposed Cuts to Medicare Programs

- 91% of Louisiana seniors more likely to support lawmakers who preserve Medicare funding -

LAFAYETTE, La., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HomeCare Association of Louisiana and Bring the Vote Home today released new polling data demonstrating a majority of Louisiana seniors support funding for Medicare healthcare services for Louisiana's 718,000 Medicare beneficiaries.  Louisiana seniors also overwhelmingly oppose proposed cuts to Medicare funding for treatment services on which millions of senior citizens depend.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed cuts to Medicare funding for home healthcare, cancer treatment, cardiology and vascular care, and dialysis treatment.  Unless the President and Congress intervene, these cuts will go into effect on January 1, 2014, putting patient access to care at risk.

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 96% of Louisiana seniors surveyed believe Medicare coverage of services provided in hospitals, physicians' offices and community-based settings are important.
  • 93% of Louisiana seniors do not approve of the government making large and sudden cuts to Medicare services.
  • 93% of Louisiana seniors support the government and President taking steps to prevent future Medicare cuts.
  • 91% of Louisiana seniors surveyed are more likely to support lawmakers who work to preserve the Medicare program by stopping fraud and abuse.

While Medicare beneficiaries in all states are vulnerable to the negative impact of drastic funding cuts, seniors and disabled individuals in rural and medically underserved areas will be severely impacted by additional cuts. Many providers of vital services, such as home healthcare agencies, could be rendered inoperable if more cuts are implemented, forcing beneficiaries to seek care miles away from their communities in higher cost settings.

Home health agencies in Louisiana, for example, are facing the potential of nearly $2.7 billion in additional Medicare cuts over ten years if a proposed rule by CMS takes effect as written.  Home health leaders across the country are urging CMS to more carefully assess the impact of their proposed rule, which would reduce national home health Medicare margins to -9.77 percent by 2017.

"Senior citizens and disabled residents of our state are deeply concerned about the future of their Medicare coverage," stated Warren Hebert, RN, CAE, Chief Executive Officer of the HomeCare Association of Louisiana. "If proposed Medicare cuts go through, their access to quality, affordable healthcare will be at great risk. President Obama and Congress must take steps to ensure beneficiaries receive the healthcare services they need and deserve." 

Public Policy Polling completed this survey August 19-21, 2013.  The survey polled 614 Louisiana registered voters aged 65 and older. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.

The HomeCare Association of Louisiana is a non-profit association dedicated to providing its membership with advocacy, direction, education, and leadership, as well as to promote and support high industry standards for home care providers in Louisiana. Learn more at http://hclanet.org.

Bring the Vote Home was launched to help senior citizens, disabled Americans, their family members, and their home healthcare clinicians participate in elections through voter registration and absentee ballot application initiatives. Home healthcare beneficiaries make up a rapidly growing portion of the population, but the homebound status of many of them makes it difficult for them to participate in the electoral process. Bring the Vote Home is dedicated to helping all members of the home healthcare community have the opportunity to participate fully in our nation's democratic process. Learn more at http://www.bringthevotehome.org.

SOURCE Bring the Vote Home



RELATED LINKS
http://www.bringthevotehome.org/
http://hclanet.org

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