New Poll Shows Overwhelming Opposition to Medicaid Cuts and Premium Increases for Older, Sicker Americans

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Washington, D.C.—A new nationwide survey finds eight in 10 (81 percent) Americans would oppose a health care bill if it includes deep cuts to Medicaid and 71 percent oppose moving the program to a lump sum or per-capita payment structure when they find out that structure would prohibit states from responding to the real-time needs of their residents.

The poll, commissioned by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), comes just one day after Senate leadership announced they would delay a vote on their health bill. The Senate bill would cut more than $800 billion in federal Medicaid funding and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, result in 15 million people currently enrolled in the program to lose their coverage.

Medicaid provides a critical safety-net for more than 2.3 million American cancer patients and survivors, including one-third of all childhood cancer patients at the point of diagnosis.

“Significant Medicaid cuts could leave millions of the country’s most vulnerable unable to access critical preventive and curative health care,”  said Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN. “Cancer patients often find themselves too sick to work or have to relocate for treatment. Making sure there is a quality safety-net to ensure they can get the care they need is essential to our nation’s ability to continue making progress against this disease.”

The poll also found most Americans would oppose their states limiting Medicaid patients’ access to certain high-cost drugs or cancer treatments (81 percent) and would also object to restricting access to preventive screenings and diagnostic tests such as mammograms, colonoscopies and MRIs (80 percent).  Nine in ten people agree that someone with cancer should be able to remain enrolled in Medicaid all the way through treatment and follow-up care.

Additionally, more than 80 percent of Americans say they oppose charging older people more for their health coverage (89 percent) or allowing insurance companies to charge more to cover those with pre-existing conditions (84 percent).

 “This poll should remind lawmakers that what Americans really want is for them to develop a health care bill that builds on what’s already working, including Medicaid expansion, and come together to fix the things under current law that need improvement,” said Hansen. “We hope patients and the public continue to make their voices heard and urge Congress to listen to patients and their needs.”

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