Seventy-eight percent of American voters say they would vote for Congressional candidates who would bolster Medicare coverage for power wheelchairs, oxygen devices, beds and other HME, according to a Harris Interactive survey.
The December telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults also found that the sentiment crossed party lines with 85 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of Republicans supporting “homecare friendly” candidates.
“Home care is both cost-effective and is the preferred choice of consumers,” said AAHomecare president Tyler Wilson. “It is part of the answer to the Medicare and Medicaid funding problems. Yet the President and some members of Congress are likely to again propose deep cuts in Medicare durable medical equipment reimbursement rates for the 2009 budget year, on top of previous cuts and other reductions that have yet to take effect. Broad bi-partisan voter approval for better policy may elevate home care as an issue in the congressional and presidential elections this year.”
Some other key findings:
• Eighty-three percent of Americans age 55 and older are more likely to support for candidates who support homecare (approximately 69 million Americans are 55 or older.)
• More than four out of five Americans (82 percent) surveyed expressed a preference for home care over institutional care. In terms of age, the preference home care was most common among Americans age 55 and older (91
percent), but the strong preference for home care is consistent across all age group, gender, and income segments.
• Three out of four (74 percent) of those surveyed agreed with the statement, “home care is part of the solution to the problem of rapidly increasing Medicare spending for America’s seniors.” That result is consistent across political party lines and across liberal and conservative ranks. Where age is concerned, Americans age 55 and over were more likely to agree (81 percent).
The results come on the heels of AAHomecare’s recent efforts with other industry groups to wage a grass roots lobbying campaign that aims to involve patients and HME providers. Read more about that in “Grassroots HME Campaign Still Cooking.”