As Senate Approaches Vote on Federal Medicaid Relief (FMAP), Long Term Care Leaders Release New National Poll Finding Voters Strongly Favor Relief Bill Passage, Oppose More Medicaid Funding Cuts for Skilled Nursing Care

Jun 10, 2010, 13:15 ET from American Health Care Association

Long Term Care Leaders and Advocates Turn Up Heat on Congress to Act Now

WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a Capitol Hill briefing today the American Health Care Association (AHCA) released a new national survey from The Mellman Group (D) (1000 LVs, 5/13-17, +/- 3.1%) finding Americans, by significant margins, strongly support passage of federal Medicaid relief and vehemently oppose any additional state Medicaid cuts.  The new survey findings further punctuate the impact of Medicaid cuts enacted in state capitols across the nation on elderly and disabled constituents – and the threat of more to come as Governors face ongoing budget crises.

Pollster Mark Mellman presented the poll's findings on Medicaid issues as well as the extent to which voters oppose additional federal Medicare cuts, the implications to lawmakers in supporting additional funding cuts, and other issues related to funding U.S. seniors' long term care today, and in the years ahead.

Voters were found to oppose cuts to nursing facility care on both the national and state levels.  Approximately three-quarters of likely voters oppose cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes by their state legislators, even if cuts were used to offset growing state budget deficits.  Only a small fraction of voters – 15% – actually favored state Medicaid cuts to nursing facility care.

In regard to federal assistance for state Medicaid funding, the survey found that voters oppose cutting funding to nursing homes so strongly that 62% of voters favored additional federal funding for Medicaid.  Results found that voters support the use of federal funding to prevent additional cuts at the state level.

The results of the poll also found that voters, in addition to opposing cuts to funding in nursing home care, claim they will vote against elected officials who support additional cuts.  In fact, voters say they are more likely to vote against a state legislator who supports Medicaid cuts to nursing homes by a margin of 64% to 11%, with 45% indicating they are much more likely to oppose the candidate.

In releasing this new data, Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA warned, "It is urgent and abundantly clear that Congress must immediately pass the extension of emergency Medicaid relief. Adequate state Medicaid funding is directly linked with high quality care and local caregiver job stability. Every day Congress waits, seniors' care is placed in growing jeopardy, facility staffing stability is being compromised, and good, local health jobs are being put at risk. Seniors deserve help, Governors are desperate for relief, and voters are demanding action."

Added Yarwood, "AHCA and our state affiliates intend to hold Congress accountable.  Aggressive advocacy efforts both nationally and locally are now underway to ensure the extension of emergency Medicaid relief is passed in an expeditious manner. America's seniors can no longer wait for Congress to act."

As the nation's largest association of long term and post-acute care providers, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) advocates for quality care and services for frail, elderly and disabled Americans. Compassionate and caring employees provide essential care to one million individuals in our 11,000 not-for-profit and proprietary member facilities. For more information, visit www.ahca.org.

SOURCE American Health Care Association



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