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KFF Poll Shows Seniors More Negative About Health Care Reform

A poll conducted July 8-13 by the Kaiser Family Foundation and released last month shows that more American senior citizens view health care reform negatively than younger adults do, and that more seniors believe that national healthcare reform will hurt Medicare.

Overall, about half of all Americans view healthcare reform positively, an improvement over their initial reaction when the legislation was first passed in May, Forty-six percent of seniors view the reforms in a negative way, compared to 38% of seniors, who view the reforms favorably. Seventeen percent of respondents say they do not know enough about the new reforms to form either a negative or positive impression. More than one-third (35%), say that the new reforms will leave them worse off while 57% believe the reforms will either improve their access to health care or will make no difference.

Fifty-two percent of respondents over the age of 65 say that they are “disappointed” by the new legislation. Forty-five percent of respondents say they are confused by the new reforms. Only 30% of respondents describe themselves as “relieved” and 35% say they are “pleased” by the new legislation.

Nearly half of all respondents age 65 and older think that seniors will be worse off under the new reforms, and 43% believe that the Medicare program will suffer as the result of the legislation. Fifty-seven percent of senior respondents in the survey think the new reforms will make finding a doctor harder, and 53% of senior respondents think it will be harder for Medicare recipients to get the healthcare they need. Half of senior respondents also believe that the new law will increase out-of-pocket Medicare expenses.

The findings for the study can be found at the Kaiser Family Foundation Website (

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