Providers: Survey shows lack of support for lawmakers favoring Medicare cuts

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Two-thirds of voters polled said they would be less likely to vote for a member of Congress if he or she supports Medicare reforms that would lessen payments to nursing homes by $5 billion over five years. In addition, more than three-fourths (77%) said they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who would reduce Medicare funding for nursing home care.

Overall, 70% of 1,076 voters polled by market research and public relations firm Zogby International said they opposed funding cuts currently proposed by the Bush administration. The survey was commissioned by Schmidt Public Affairs of Utica, NY, and released Tuesday by the American Health Care Association, the nation's largest nursing home advocacy group. Congress reconvened from its Memorial Day recess on Tuesday.

Among other survey findings: 60% of respondents said they thought a federal proposal "to cut and reduce the growth of Medicare funding for nursing home care" would have a negative impact on quality of care for senior citizens. Another 11% said the cuts would be tough but necessary to "save the system," and roughly 10% each said nursing home residents could be forced to relocate many miles away or healthcare jobs would be lost.

More on the survey can be found at www.ahca.org.