Voters Oppose Medicare/Medicaid Spending Cuts

Federal spending for Medicare is under fire as part of the fiscal cliff talks, but a survey revealed that the majority of Americans reject reimbursement reductions to hospitals for Medicare and Medicaid services.

Federal spending for Medicare is under fire as part of the fiscal cliff talks, but a Public Opinion Strategies survey revealed that the majority of Americans (across political spectrum and age groups) reject reimbursement reductions to hospitals for Medicare and Medicaid services.

The American Hospital Association commissioned the poll through Public Opinion Strategies to find out what registered voters think about potential funding cuts for Medicare and Medicaid.

Although a fiscal cliff deal is far from being signed, one thing that seems sure is a large reduction — at least $400 billion — in spending for Medicare. Over two-thirds of respondents in the Public Opinion Strategies survey rejects reducing the amount hospitals receive from providing services to patients who have Medicare or Medicaid.

Interestingly, the opposition to reducing the reimbursement rates is widespread among sub-groups.

74% of Democrats, 58% of Independents and 69% of Republicans

63% of me and 75% of women

71% of whites and 64% of voters of color

Opposition was strong throughout all age groups as well. In fact, voters ages 45 to 64 and younger than 35 were the most opposed with 73% and 70%, respectively.

This strong opposition to the reimbursement reduction is likely tied to the fact that the respondents view hospitals favorably with just 9% having an unfavorable image of hospitals. Once again the majority is across partisan lines.

If the funding was reduced by $70 billion over ten years, voters said that it would decrease access to health services for seniors, according to 66%. Less than a quarter said access would stay the same and 8% said it would increase.