As the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives begin making crucial budgetary decisions for FY 2013, a recent survey conducted for the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care by Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates underscores the saliency political operatives find in attacking incumbents who expose themselves to such attacks by supporting Medicare cuts — in this case to nursing homes.
The survey (January 26-30, 800 RV’s [700 landline/100 cell] +/- 3.46%) finds 82% of RV’s oppose reducing Medicare funding for seniors’ nursing home care; 90% say funding for U.S. nursing home care should either “remain the same” or “increase”; and, interestingly, a full 69% support the concept of phasing-in a controversial 2011 Obama Medicare regulation that reduced Medicare funding by 11.1% all at one time.
With Republicans and Democrats both suffering major losses in back to back congressional elections — as each side in successive cycles absorbed attacks ads accusing incumbents for cutting seniors’ Medicare benefits — it’s no surprise both sides are circling each other warily as the FY 2013 budget negotiations take shape.
Private polling done for a health care provider group in Texas last year, as well as polling conducted for the Texas Tribune, found cuts to seniors’ nursing home care are among the most unpopular cuts of nearly a dozen options mentioned. This is not lost on ad makers, pollsters, campaign operatives and lawmakers themselves.