August 4, 2005 - Medicaid Is Very Important, But Must Be Fixed, New York Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Do More To Curb Fraud, Voters Say 10 - 1
Almost every New York State voter says the Medicaid program is important, with 82 percent saying "very important" and 15 percent saying "somewhat important," but 80 percent of voters also say the program needs to be fixed, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Only 12 percent of voters say Medicaid is run well.

State and local governments spend too little on Medicaid, 40 percent of New York State voters tell the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll, while 25 percent say government spends too much and 23 percent say the spending level is right.

By an 83 - 9 percent margin, voters say the state should do more to curb Medicaid fraud. This opinion is consistent among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters, among men and women and in every area of the state.

"Overwhelmingly, New Yorkers think Medicaid is important. Just as overwhelmingly, they think it has to be changed and that the state should do more to curb fraud," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"After those conclusions, there is less consensus on what to do about Medicaid: Many - but not most - think the government should spend more on it." In response to proposals to improve Medicaid, New York State voters are:
  • 42 - 35 percent against stricter limits on the prescription drugs Medicaid pays for;
  • 49 - 30 percent in favor of increasing Medicaid payments for doctors and hospitals;
  • 74 - 15 percent in favor of requiring all doctors to accept Medicaid patients;
  • 47 - 36 percent in favor or requiring Medicaid patients to use an approved list of doctors;
  • 63 - 17 percent in favor of increasing Medicaid payments for home health services;
  • 56 - 29 percent opposed to increasing Medicaid co-payments.
"Patients should choose from an approved list of doctors, New Yorkers say. But doctors shouldn't be allowed to refuse to take Medicaid patients. A small majority would raise the amount that doctors are paid, and a big majority would raise Medicaid payments for home health care," Carroll said. .

New York State voters say 67 - 27 percent that it's unfair to force a person to spend down most of their assets before becoming eligible for Medicaid nursing home coverage.

Republicans say 59 - 30 percent that it's unfair, while Democrats say 70 - 25 percent that it's unfair and independent voters say 68 - 27 percent that it's unfair.

"The specter of giving your life savings to a nursing home scares everyone," Carroll said.

From July 27 - August 1, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,498 New York State registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

22. As you may know Medicaid is a government program that pays for health care for low-income people and others with certain disabilities. Do you think that the Medicaid program is a very important program, somewhat important, or not very important?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very important 82% 74% 88% 80% 80% 82% Smwht important 15 23 11 15 16 15 Not very important 2 2 1 3 3 1 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Very important 78% 79% 79% 84% 82% Smwht important 20 18 19 13 14 Not very important 2 2 2 2 2 DK/NA - 1 1 1 2



23. In general do you think that New York's state and local governments spend too much, too little, or about the right amount of money on Medicaid?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Too much 25% 35% 17% 28% 27% 24% Too little 40 29 50 35 38 41 Right amount 23 24 22 25 23 23 DK/NA 12 11 11 13 12 12

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Too much 36% 34% 35% 16% 23% Too little 39 34 35 50 33 Right amount 16 22 21 22 29 DK/NA 10 9 10 12 15



24. Do you think the Medicaid program in New York State is run well, or do you think it needs to be fixed?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Run well 12% 11% 13% 11% 13% 12% Needs fixing 80 82 80 79 77 81 DK/NA 8 6 7 10 10 7

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Run well 5% 13% 11% 14% 11% Needs fixing 90 80 83 79 75 DK/NA 6 7 6 7 14



25. Do you support or oppose - stricter limits on the prescription drugs Medicaid pays for - or don't you have an opinion on this?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 35% 38% 34% 35% 35% 36% Oppose 42 35 46 44 44 40 No opinion 21 24 19 20 19 23 REFUSED 1 2 1 1 1 1

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Support 40% 41% 41% 32% 31% Oppose 45 37 39 43 47 No opinion 14 21 19 24 21 REFUSED 2 1 1 1 1



26. Do you support or oppose - raising the amount Medicaid pays for doctors and hospital care - or don't you have an opinion on this?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 49% 43% 54% 46% 46% 51% Oppose 30 32 26 33 32 28 No opinion 20 23 18 18 21 19 REFUSED 2 2 1 3 2 2

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Support 45% 44% 44% 53% 50% Oppose 36 32 33 28 27 No opinion 19 22 21 17 21 REFUSED 1 1 1 2 2



27. Do you support or oppose - requiring all doctors to accept Medicaid patients - or don't you have an opinion on this?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 74% 67% 77% 77% 74% 74% Oppose 15 20 14 13 16 15 No opinion 10 13 9 9 9 11 REFUSED - 1 - 1 - 1

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Support 75% 76% 75% 74% 71% Oppose 15 14 14 15 17 No opinion 10 10 10 10 11 REFUSED - 1 1 1 -



28. Do you support or oppose - requiring Medicaid patients to use an approved list of doctors - or don't you have an opinion on this?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 47% 55% 45% 41% 46% 47% Oppose 36 32 38 38 36 36 No opinion 16 13 16 20 16 16 REFUSED 1 1 1 1 2 1

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Support 48% 46% 46% 45% 50% Oppose 37 36 36 38 32 No opinion 13 17 16 17 17 REFUSED 2 2 2 1 2



29. Do you support or oppose - increasing Medicaid payments for home care services - or don't you have an opinion on this?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 63% 59% 69% 59% 61% 65% Oppose 17 18 16 19 19 15 No opinion 20 23 14 21 20 20 REFUSED 1 - 1 1 1 1

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Support 50% 61% 59% 66% 67% Oppose 27 16 19 15 16 No opinion 20 22 22 18 17 REFUSED 3 1 1 1 -



30. Do you support or oppose - increasing co-payments that people on Medicaid have to pay for medical services - or don't you have an opinion on this?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 29% 36% 23% 28% 30% 28% Oppose 56 44 64 55 54 56 No opinion 14 18 11 16 14 15 REFUSED 1 2 1 2 2 1

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Support 33% 32% 32% 23% 30% Oppose 48 52 51 60 56 No opinion 18 14 15 15 13 REFUSED 1 1 1 2 2



31. Do you think that the state is doing enough to curb Medicaid fraud or do you think the state should do more?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Doing enough 9% 9% 10% 9% 9% 10% Should do more 83 86 83 84 83 83 DK/NA 7 5 8 7 8 7

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Doing enough 8% 8% 8% 11% 9% Should do more 83 85 84 82 83 DK/NA 9 7 7 7 8



32. Currently a person has to spend down most of their assets before meeting eligibility for nursing home coverage under Medicaid. Do you think this practice is fair or unfair?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Fair 27% 30% 25% 27% 28% 26% Unfair 67 59 70 68 67 67 DK/NA 7 11 5 5 6 7

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Fair 25% 29% 28% 23% 30% Unfair 71 64 66 70 62 DK/NA 4 7 6 6 8