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POLL: Senior Attitudes Toward Obamacare and Medicare

MEMORANDUM

TO:          Interested Parties
FR:           John Murray, YG Network
DT:          March 10, 2014

RE:          Poll Results on Senior Attitudes Toward Obamacare and Medicare

This YG Network Medicare Poll was conducted from March 3-6, 2014, among a total sample of 4,455 likely voters 65 years and older in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, and North Carolina. The interviews were conducted via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and North Carolina, and the interviews were conducted via live dials in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Montana. The data were weighted to approximate a target sample of senior likely voters in each state based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, and educational attainment. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points, results from the Alaska and Arkansas polls have a margin of error of 5 percentage points, and results from the Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, and North Carolina polls have a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Click Below To Read State-By-State Polling Memos and Top-Line Results: 

 Bottom Line:

  • Seniors don’t like Obamacare. Their approval of the law stands at 36-57, with 44% strongly disapproving. And, 55% expect the law to negatively impact Medicare
  • An overwhelming majority of seniors are happy with their current Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Part D plans. Moreover, any hint of reductions or changes bring expectations of increased costs and reduced access.
  • Seniors are ready to blame Democrats for negative changes (50% say Obamacare/Dems in Congress will deserve most blame for any increase in Medicare Advantage costs, 51% say the same for any increase in Part D costs).

Key Findings:

Satisfaction of Medicare and Medicare Advantage is high among seniors — Across the 8 states, 85% of seniors say they are satisfied with their Medicare plan (with 44% indicating they are very satisfied)  and 80% say they are satisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan (with 46% indicating they are very satisfied).

A majority of seniors disapprove of ObamaCare —57% of seniors disapprove of the President’s signature law, with 44% strongly disapproving. Just 36% approve and only 20% strongly approve of the law. The notable two-to-one disparity in intensity is a strong indicator that Obamacare disapproval among seniors has motivational potential.

  • Men (35%-59%, 47% strongly disapprove) are less inclined to support the law than women (37%-54%, 41% strongly disapprove), it is notable that majorities of both sexes disapprove.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of independent seniors disapprove of Obamacare (47% strongly).
  • Younger seniors (65-74) are slightly less inclined to support the law (37%-57%, 44% strongly disapprove) than older seniors (75+) (35%-55%, 43% strongly disapprove).

And, a majority of seniors believe Obamacare will ultimately hurt Medicare – 55% believe the healthcare law will negatively impact Medicare, with 34% believing it will make Medicare “much worse.” Just 28% believe Obamacare will have a positive impact on Medicare (just 11% believe it will make Medicare “much better”). A plurality of seniors expect Obamacare to decrease access to providers practicing in their Medicare and Medicare Advantage networks.

Nearly one-half of seniors are VERY satisfied with Part D — Among those who have a Part D plan, 49% of seniors say they are very satisfied with it (88% of seniors with a Part D plan indicate they are satisfied overall).

Seniors are VERY concerned about the Medicare Advantage rate adjustment— 54% are very concerned seniors will bear the rise in costs, 47% are very concerned the reduction will reduce plan availability and 47% are very concerned about reduced access to providers.

% Concerned-%Not Concerned (% Very Concerned) Rise in Costs Reduced # of plans Reduced provider access
Men 77%-23%
(54%)
72%-28%
(49%)
73%-27%
(49%)
Women 78%-22%
(54%)
73%-26%
(45%)
74%-27%
(46%)
INDs 77%-23%
(55%)
72%-28%
(49%)
73%-27%
(50%)
Younger Seniors (65-74) 79%-21%
(55%)
74%-26%
(49%)
73%-26%
(49%)
Older Seniors (75+) 77%-24%
(53%)
73%-27%
(45%)
73%-28%
(45%)

Majority of seniors are ready to blame Dems for any increased Medicare Advantage/Part D costs. — More than one-third (35%) of seniors say Obamacare will deserve the most blame for any increase in Medicare Advantage costs and 15% say Democrats in Congress will deserve the most blame (only 17% say Republicans in Congress will deserve the most blame). Similarly, 37% say Obamacare will deserve the most blame for any increase in Part D, while 14% say Democrats in Congress (again, just 18% say Republicans in Congress will deserve the most blame).

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