Public Supports Choice In the Medicare Program
There is broad
support, including amongst seniors, for choice between traditional
Medicare and private health plans in the Medicare program,
according to a public opinion survey conducted by Zogby
International, and released by The Galen Institute.
conducted June 18 - 21, showed the public is mindful of the
repercussions of having the government manage a prescription drug
benefit, fearing price controls that could lead to a decrease in
the development of new drugs. Another significant fear of
those surveyed was that seniors would lose the drug coverage they
currently have and be dropped into the new government plan.
Sample of the
- 82 percent of
all voters surveyed and 67 percent of seniors agree that "seniors
should have the option of picking a private health plan approved by
the Medicare program to provide their health benefits."
- The complex drug
benefit being debated in the Senate was described to those with
drug coverage to ask if it would be better than the coverage they
have now; 74 percent of seniors said no, and only 16percent said it
would be better.
- 66 percent are
worried that "a government-provided prescription drug benefit might
mean that some people could lose their private health care coverage
and become more dependent on government funding."
- 78 percent said
"if the government gets into the business of providing a
prescription drug benefit for Medicare…the government would
eventually control what drugs are produced and developed."
- If Congress must
choose, 54 percent of voters said it's more important to pass "a
more generous prescription drug benefit for low-income seniors who
don't have any coverage now" than a plan that "provides some drug
coverage for everyone, regardless of income" (42 percent).
Read the entire