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Senior Citizen Politics
Senior Citizens Warming to Health Care Reform as
Republicans Set Stage to Kill It
about health care reform reaches new low among senior citizens
By Tucker Sutherland, editor,
Jan. 4, 2011 –
The last Kaiser Health Tracking Poll of 2010 shows U.S. adults almost
evenly divided in their opinion of the health care reform bill passed
last March, but senior citizens, who were panicked by claims that the
bill set up death panels to consider the fate of old people, and other
misconceptions, have turned the corner and are seeing positive benefits
in the legislation. This has not stopped the Republicans from moving
ahead in the House with an effort to repeal the whole plan.
The Kaiser poll
found 42 percent of adults having a generally favorable view of the law,
while 41 percent have a generally unfavorable view. The biggest changes
have been among senior citizens.
generally more critical of the law than younger people, seem to be
softening in their opposition as the national discussion shifts to the
federal budget and deficit,” according to the analysis by Kaiser News.
“The share of
those aged 65 and up holding unfavorable views of health reform dropped
to 40 percent in December, the lowest since the passage of the law.”
The swing for
the seniors has not been directly from “unfavorable” to “favorable,” but
has primarily shifted to a position of withholding their opinion. This
option grew by 10 percentage points since the election period.
The past two
months have also found a slightly higher proportion of the public
withholding opinion on the subject – hovering at 18 percent.
Republicans create 'Repealing the Job-Killing
Health Care Law Act'
Despite the more
favorable trends noted in the poll, the Republicans have moved ahead and
posted their House bill to repeal the entire legislation. The unusual
title of the GOP legislation is “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care
Law Act.” (Click
here to draft of bill.)
The new Congress
begins tomorrow and some expect the Republicans, now a majority in the
House, will push for a vote as early as Friday.
The Kaiser poll
also found that as the ‘weak economy continues’ a significant number of
people are struggling to stay afloat financially. One in four says their
household has had trouble paying medical bills over the past year, and
54 percent say they have delayed needed medical care because of cost.’
looked at how Americans have gained their information about the health
care reform legislation.
radio news, or other online news sources continue to be the most common
channels through which Americans receive information about health
reform, with two-thirds of Americans saying they learn about the law
Almost as many
say they have gotten information about the law through friends and
family (64%) and via cable TV news channels and websites (61%).
Fifty-eight percent say they get such information through national
broadcast network news channels and websites,” Kaiser reports.
How Well Do Private Health Insurance Companies Do?
Most Disagree with Senior Citizens About Private Health
Senior citizens, who rely primarily on Medicare and Medicaid for
health insurance, are much more likely to think private
insurance companies do an excellent or good job than are the
Americans who actually rely on these private insurance companies
for services, according to results of a Gallup poll in November.
Personal Services from:
(senior citizens said...)
(younger Americans said...)
Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats to rate
the medical services health insurance companies provide as
excellent or good -- 63% vs. 28%. Independents, at 39%, are
significantly less likely than Republicans to give health
insurance companies positive reviews.
also rate pharmaceutical companies more positively than do
Gallup Nov. 4-7, 2010
traditional news sources continue to be the most popular source of
information on health reform, the survey suggests that Americans are
also beginning to receive information from government agencies,
insurance companies, and employers.”
poll by Kaiser is the latest in a series designed and analyzed by the
Foundation’s public opinion research team.
differences still persist,” notes the Kaiser analysis, “with Republicans
overwhelmingly in favor of repealing all or parts of the legislation and
a majority of Democrats wanting to leave the law as is or expand it. At
this early stage of implementation, 15 percent of the public believe
they have already personally benefited from the law through better
access to health care and specific early deliverables, while two in ten
feel they have been harmed by the law, primarily through what they
perceive as higher costs.”
More on Kaiser Health Poll (pdf)
information is reprinted from
kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J.
Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser
Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives and sign up
for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All
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