2014

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

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

RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina and Bring the Vote Home today released new polling data demonstrating a majority of North Carolina seniors support funding for Medicare healthcare services for North Carolina's 1.56 million Medicare beneficiaries.  North Carolina 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:

  • 98% of North Carolina seniors surveyed believe Medicare coverage of services provided in hospitals, physicians' offices and community-based settings are important.
  • 92% of North Carolina seniors do not approve of the government making large and sudden cuts to Medicare services.
  • 91% of North Carolina seniors support the government and President taking steps to prevent future Medicare cuts.
  • 91% of North Carolina 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 North Carolina, for example, are facing the potential of nearly $2.3 billion in 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 North Carolina home health Medicare margins to -2.5 percent by 2017.

"Senior citizens and disabled residents of our state are deeply concerned about the future of their Medicare coverage," stated Tim Rogers, President and CEO of Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina. "If proposed Medicare cuts go through, senior access to quality, affordable healthcare will be at great risk. Our state's seniors are depending on President Obama and Congress to take steps to ensure beneficiaries receive the healthcare services they need and deserve." 

Public Policy Polling completed this survey August 19-20, 2013.  The survey polled 703 North Carolina registered voters aged 65 and older. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.

Established in 1972, Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina is one of the oldest and largest organizations of its kind in the nation. AHHC represents over 825 agencies serving patients in all 100 counties. North Carolina home care and hospice agencies employ 100,000 and provides in home care and/or hospice service to over 500,000 North Carolinians.  Learn more at www.homeandhospicecare.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



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