Seniors Understand Very Little About The Health Overhaul Law, Poll Finds
The Hill: "The majority of the nation's seniors have little understanding of what the Democrats' newly enacted healthcare law actually does, according to poll results released Monday. The survey, sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), an advocate for seniors, found that only 17 percent of respondents could answer even half of the 12 questions about key provisions in the law selected by the NCOA. Only 14 percent of respondents ... knew that the new reforms don't include cuts to doctors treating Medicare patients; just 24 percent were aware that the changes will extend the solvency of the Medicare program; and only 14 percent were aware that the reforms are projected to cut deficit spending. Not one of the 636 respondents answered all 12 questions correctly, NCOA reported" (Lillis, 7/26).
NPR's Shots Blog: The poll showing "just how little Grandma and Grandpa know about it must be giving the new law's supporters a serious case of heartburn. That's because seniors are not just a key voting bloc in the upcoming mid-term elections, but a group that's been showered with some sweet upfront benefits - like $250 checks as a downpayment to close the notorious Medicare drug benefit 'doughnut hole.'" Seniors showed little understanding "despite sometimes controversial educational efforts by the Obama administration, the AARP, and others" (Rovner, 7/26).
Congress Daily: "The National Council On Aging is ramping up its outreach to seniors about the healthcare overhaul law, in response to polling data that showed seniors were misinformed about the effect of the law, as well as the organization's feeling that seniors have not been served well by standard Democratic and Republican talking points. Republicans have been arguing that the law will lead to cuts in Medicare benefits, specifically emphasizing reductions to the Medicare Advantage program. Democrats have maintained that some lower payments in the Medicare Advantage program are necessary to reduce overpayments in the program, and that in general Medicare benefits will not be reduced" (McCarthy, 7/27).
The poll, which surveyed 636 seniors by telephone, was conducted by Harris Interactive. The margin of error is 4 points.
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