Featured Research

THE RISING COST OF HEALTH CARE IS THE TOP CONCERN AMONG SENIORS

April 3, 2012
Assets


As part of our Target Voter Series, Resurgent Republic sponsored four focus groups among seniors ages 65 and older in Tampa, Florida and Grand Rapids, Michigan. These voters self- identified as Independents, voted for President Obama in 2008, but are undecided on the generic presidential ballot today. Following are key highlights pertaining to ObamaCare, Medicare and other changes to healthcare




Read the full report: The Economy and Health Care Are Determining Factors for Seniors in 2012




  1. With few exceptions, respondents in both Florida and Michigan were satisfied with their current health care coverage and nervous about pending changes. These groups could not specify what changes are on the horizon due to ObamaCare, but several expressed concern that their health care coverage will not stay the same, including changes to doctor access or quality of care. The notion that anything might change made them skeptical and nervous. This is a good reminder to conservatives advocating for Medicare reforms. Seniors need to be reminded that proposed reforms do not affect those currently on Medicare or those expected to enroll in the next decade, and should they choose, they can remain in the present system.


  2. Seniors’ concern about the rising cost of health care has not diminished since ObamaCare became law. The cost of health insurance, not universal coverage, is the most important metric these voters expressed during our health care discussion, particularly senior women. One Tampa senior said, “It seems like every time you go to the doctor to get anything done you have to go through loops and go through this procedure to get that procedure done.” Several respondents live on a fixed income and described the tension they feel when their expenses increase due to rising prescription drug costs, additional out-of- pocket expenses for doctor visits, or insurance companies that now offer fewer benefits.


  3. For the most part, these groups volunteered limited specifics about ObamaCare’s provisions. The Tampa groups said the law’s purpose was to bring about universal coverage, while the Grand Rapids groups referenced coverage of children under the age of 26. The negative aspects of the legislation centered on the complexity of the bill itself and that hardly anybody in Congress actually read the legislation. With a hint of sarcasm, one Tampa senior said, “Only after four years and eight revisions will I think it is ok.” The pending Supreme Court decision will place this issue back into the public discourse and likely refresh their memory of the legislation.


  4. All four groups expressed a strong negative reaction to the individual mandate, IPAB, and cuts to Medicare. The fact that ObamaCare might not be at the forefront with these Independents does not mean the President’s signature domestic accomplishment is quietly gaining favor. Reactions from both the Florida and Michigan groups to three provisions are good reminders that ObamaCare is toxic in large part due to its policies.


    a. Individual Mandate – these voters expressed serious reservations about allowing the federal government to mandate coverage and thought it might place a financial burden on those already having a difficult time making ends meet.


    b. Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) – instead of controlling costs, the respondents felt this board would add another layer of bureaucracy to the patient-doctor relationship. The newly created IPAB could very well take on there previously reserved for health insurance companies.


    c. Medicare Cuts – in light of ObamaCare cutting $500 billion from Medicare, these seniors largely believed they will be forced to make up the shortfall. This point magnifies their;

    (1) primary concern of rising health care costs and

    (2) skepticism toward making changes to Medicare when they’re mostly satisfied with the current program.





Read the full report: The Economy and Health Care Are Determining Factors for Seniors in 2012




 

Filed under: Health Care, Medicare, 2012 Election, and Focus Group