The following is being released by Bring the Vote Home:
A state poll of registered Ohio voters released today shows more than three out of four Ohioans think Congress should prevent cuts to Medicare home healthcare when making funding cuts during budget deficit reduction efforts this year. Further, a strong majority of 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 26 through October 28, surveyed 693 Ohio voters statewide. Other key findings of the poll show:
- 90 percent of Ohio voters favor Medicare-covered clinically skilled home healthcare services to seniors and disabled Ohioans in their homes.
- 77 percent of Ohio voters think that Congress should prevent cuts in Medicare home healthcare by cutting elsewhere.
- 92 percent of Ohio voters believe the federal government should target Medicare fraud and abuse before requiring seniors to pay increased out-of-pocket fees.
- 60 percent of Ohio voters think the federal government does a poor or very poor job preventing fraud and waste in the Medicare program.
"Ohio 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 Jeff Lycan, President and CEO of the Midwest Care Alliance. "Alternative solutions, including targeting the $75 billion in Medicare fraud, are better for seniors and overwhelmingly preferred by Ohio voters."
"The Ohio home healthcare community is deeply concerned about potential threats to home healthcare that may impact our state's seniors," added Kathleen Anderson, CAE, President of the Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice. "We are committed to working together to ensure our lawmakers not only recognize that voters across Ohio value home health, but also understand its role in our state's healthcare delivery system."
Other poll findings revealed that less than half (48 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. Ohio's home healthcare community represents 115,000 Medicare home health beneficiaries and more than 17,000 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.
Washington, DC, Novemeber 2, 2012 –