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Funding Health and Long-Term Care: A Survey on Increasing Iowa's Cigarette Tax

Like many states, Iowa is experiencing a severe economic downturn and ever- growing demand for health and long-term care services, and currently faces about a $400 million shortfall. Balancing the state budget could result in significant spending cuts from health and long-term care services. Such cuts would have a negative affect medical care for children and long-term care services for older persons and those with disabilities in nursing homes and at home.

This survey measures the opinions of Iowans age 18 and older about adequacy of funding for state health and long-term care services as well as two proposals to increase the Iowa Cigarette Tax. Of those surveyed

  • 59 percent think there is not enough money in the state budget for health and long-term care services
  • 80 percent oppose the state cutting funding for health and long-term care services
  • 59 percent support an increase in the state's cigarette tax from 36 cents per pack to $1.36 per pack (support for increasing the tax to $1.11 per pack is virtually identical)

This random telephone survey of 808 age 18+ Iowa residents was conducted between January 31 and February 7, 2003 by Southeastern Institute of Research, and the report prepared by Anita Stowell-Ritter of AARP Knowledge Management who may be contacted at 202-434-6205. (17 pages)

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