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FAH Poll Reveals Strong Support for Hospitals Among Likely Voters; Concern about Medicare Cuts, Practices by MA Plans

A new public opinion poll released today by the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH) finds wide support for hospitals and hospital funding among likely voters. The survey, conducted by LSG, a leading polling and public affairs firm, also found the vast majority are concerned about cuts to Medicare and abuses by Medicare Advantage plans, including denials and delays of care through prior authorization, denied payments for necessary treatments, and network restrictions limiting provider choice.

“Americans are expressing deep opposition to Medicare cuts to hospitals providing critical patient care. This new poll also shows overwhelming support for the hospitals communities depend on,” said Chip Kahn, FAH President and CEO. “Concern for managed care denials or necessary diagnostics and treatment delays is also high among Americans. Anxiety about seniors being shortchanged by Medicare Advantage is another keen concern. Voters want action by the government to regulate insurance practices like denying or delaying care that seniors need.”

Key findings include:

  • Voters view hospitals favorably and consider them among the most essential providers of health care in their communities.
    • Nearly three-quarters (72%) of likely voters view hospitals favorably.
    • The vast majority (82%) believe the federal government should provide adequate funding to ensure hospitals serving rural and underserved communities remain open.
  • Lawmakers’ positions on hospital funding will affect voters’ actions at the ballot box.
    • Seventy percent of voters would be less likely to vote for a Member of Congress who supported cuts to hospitals that threatened their ability to stay open.
    • An overwhelming majority (89%) would be willing to take action to support policies that would ensure access to hospital care.
  • Voters are concerned about the impact of Medicare Advantage practices on consumers’ access to health care.
    • The vast majority (78%) of voters are concerned about the trend of Medicare Advantage plans delaying or denying access to care for seniors.
    • A majority (56%) of voters believe there should be more regulation and oversight of Medicare Advantage plans.
    • Likely voters blame health insurers most for the lack of transparency in health care costs.

“Voters have an overwhelmingly favorable opinion of hospitals and view them as part of the solution to our nation’s health care challenges,” said Phillip Morris, partner at LSG and head of the firm’s research and insights practice. “The vast majority of voters believe hospitals are the leading providers of advanced, specialized care, believe they play an important role in educating and training future physicians, and do not want the federal government to cut hospital funding and threaten patients’ access to care.”

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