Statewide Poll Shows Majority of Virginians Oppose Copayments for Seniors, Cuts to Funding for Medicare Home Healthcare Services

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A state poll of registered Virginia voters released today shows more than three out of four Virginians think Congress should prevent cuts to Medicare home healthcare when making funding cuts during budget deficit reduction efforts this year.  Further, more than nine out of 10 voters feel Congress should identify Medicare savings by targeting fraud and abuse over requiring seniors to pay out-of-pocket copayments.

The telephone poll, completed by Public Policy Polling and Fabrizio Ward October 30 through October 31, surveyed 500 Virginia voters statewide.   Other key findings of the poll show:

  • 91 percent of Virginia voters favor Medicare-covered clinically skilled home healthcare services to seniors and disabled Virginians in their homes.
  • 77 percent of Virginia voters think that Congress should prevent cuts to Medicare home healthcare by cutting elsewhere.
  • 93 percent of Virginia voters believe the federal government should target Medicare fraud and abuse before requiring seniors to pay increased out-of-pocket fees.

"Virginia voters have made it clear that cutting Medicare funding for home healthcare or requiring seniors to pay expensive copayments to access skilled home healthcare services is not the right approach when addressing the nation's financial future," said Marcia Tetterton, Executive Director of the Virginia Association for Home Care and Hospice.  "Alternative solutions, including targeting the $75 billion in Medicare fraud, are better for seniors and overwhelmingly preferred by Virginia voters."

Other poll findings revealed that only 39 percent of voters say states do enough to help homebound seniors vote in the election.  Recognizing the need to increase access to voter registration processes and absentee ballots, the home healthcare community launched a collective effort this year to offer the nation's 12 million home healthcare patients and their caregivers the opportunity to vote this election cycle. 

Bring the Vote Home specifically focuses on Medicare beneficiaries because they must be homebound to be eligible for Medicare's home healthcare benefit, which makes it challenging for seniors to travel to polling locations.  Virginia's home healthcare community represents 83,000 Medicare home health beneficiaries and more than 12,200 skilled home health clinicians. 

Nearly 3.5 million Americans nationwide currently receive Medicare home healthcare services for illnesses related to acute, chronic or rehabilitative needs. Data show skilled home healthcare is a clinically advanced, cost-effective and patient preferred option for American seniors.

Full poll results available upon request.

Bring the Vote Home is a nationwide citizenship project coordinated by the Council for State Home Care Associations, Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, and other home health community members to help America's approximately 12 million home healthcare patients, including 3.5 Medicare beneficiaries, and skilled healthcare professionals exercise their right to vote in national and state elections this November.  To learn more, visit www.bringthevotehome.org.

SOURCE Virginia Association for Home Care and Hospice



RELATED LINKS
http://www.thehomecarecouncil.org/
http://www.homehealth4america.org/

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