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UFCW Local 1776

Berks County, Pennsylvania


Survey Results
November 12 – 13, 2018
Q. First, would you say that things in Berks County are going in the right direction, or are they
off on the wrong track?

Right direction 49%


Wrong track 31%
Unsure/Refused 20%

Q. As you may know, Berks County owns a public nursing and rehabilitation center called Berks
Heim. This nursing home mostly serves lower income and Medicaid recipients in Berks County.
Based on what you know, how would you rate the value of the Berks Heim nursing home to our
local community?

Excellent 31%
Good 28%
Fair 10%
Poor 3%
Unsure/Refused 28%

Q. Increasing healthcare costs, cuts to Medicaid funding, and an aging population are all having
a negative effect on the financial well-being of Berks Heim nursing home. The Berks County
Commissioners are considering selling the Berks Heim nursing home to private ownership. Do
you favor or oppose this proposal?

Total Favor 21%


Total Oppose 59%

Strongly favor 9%
Somewhat favor 12%
Strongly oppose 44%
Somewhat oppose 16%
Unsure/Refused 20%

121 State Street HarperPolling.com info@HarperPolling.com


Harrisburg, PA 17101
Now I am going to read you a series of alternative approaches that the Berks County
Commissioners could consider taking rather than selling the nursing home to private
ownership. Please rate each alternative approach on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 indicating that
the County Commissioners SHOULD NOT explore this option before selling to private
ownership, and 10 indicating that they should DEFINITELY explore this option before selling.

Q. The County Commissioners should work with state government to negotiate increased
funding for county nursing homes and increased Medicaid reimbursement rates.

Total 1-3 12%


Total 8-10 66%

1 10%
2 1%
3 1%
4 2%
5 9%
6 2%
7 5%
8 7%
9 8%
10 51%
Unsure/Refused 4%

Q. The nursing home is not yet losing money. If it does start to lose money in the next few
years, County Commissioners could consider a modest increase in County taxes to keep the
nursing home financially solvent and provide a valuable service to County residents.

Total 1-3 28%


Total 8-10 42%

1 23%
2 2%
3 3%
4 1%
5 16%
6 4%
7 7%
8 10%
9 3%
10 29%
Unsure/Refused 1%

2
Q. County Commissioners should consider cutting the wages and benefits of County employees
who work at the Berks Heim nursing home.

Total 1-3 72%


Total 8-10 12%

1 59%
2 9%
3 4%
4 3%
5 8%
6 2%
7 2%
8 4%
9 1%
10 7%
Unsure/Refused 2%

Q. Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following statement: Before taking
the drastic measure of selling the Berks Heim nursing home to private ownership, County
Commissioners should explore other measures like the ones just mentioned.

Total Agree 83%


Total Disagree 15%

Strongly agree 66%


Somewhat agree 17%
Somewhat disagree 7%
Strongly disagree 8%
Unsure/Refused 2%

3
Now I am going to read you a series of statements about the privatization of nursing homes.
Please tell me whether each statement makes you more likely or less likely to favor the sale of
Berks Heim nursing and rehabilitation to private ownership.

Q. Decades of research have established that the privatization of nursing homes results in
decreased quality of care for patients.

Total More Likely 22%


Total Less Likely 67%

Much more likely 14%


Somewhat more likely 7%
No difference 6%
Somewhat less likely 17%
Much less likely 49%
Unsure/Refused 6%

Q. Privatized nursing homes pay their employees lower wages and have higher staff turnover,
which results in reduced continuity of care for patients.

Total More Likely 18%


Total Less Likely 69%

Much more likely 10%


Somewhat more likely 9%
No difference 8%
Somewhat less likely 15%
Much less likely 54%
Unsure/Refused 5%

4
Q. Because of their dependence on fixed Medicare and Medicaid rates, it is difficult for nursing
homes to make a profit. Private nursing homes must cut costs to become profitable, which can
result in shortages of medical and patient care supplies.

Total More Likely 21%


Total Less Likely 69%

Much more likely 13%


Somewhat more likely 8%
No difference 4%
Somewhat less likely 16%
Much less likely 53%
Unsure/Refused 6%

Q. Recently privatized nursing homes in Adams and York counties were given lower ratings by
Medicare.gov than Berks Heim nursing home.

Total More Likely 18%


Total Less Likely 66%

Much more likely 12%


Somewhat more likely 6%
No difference 7%
Somewhat less likely 17%
Much less likely 49%
Unsure/Refused 8%

Q. County elected officials recently gave themselves a pay raise. Despite this, they claim that
there is not money available to keep Berks Heim nursing home running as a public facility.

Total More Likely 18%


Total Less Likely 66%

Much more likely 10%


Somewhat more likely 9%
No difference 7%
Somewhat less likely 13%
Much less likely 54%
Unsure/Refused 8%

5
Q. Privatizing Berks Heim nursing and rehabilitation would be a disservice to our community’s
senior citizens. The Greatest Generation as they are known. They are our parents and
grandparents, and they deserve quality care.

Total More Likely 26%


Total Less Likely 62%

Much more likely 20%


Somewhat more likely 6%
No difference 7%
Somewhat less likely 10%
Much less likely 51%
Unsure/Refused 6%

Q. Now that you have heard some additional information, do you favor or oppose selling Berks
Heim nursing and rehabilitation to private ownership?

Total Favor 16%


Total Oppose 77%

Strongly favor 7%
Somewhat favor 10%
Strongly oppose 57%
Somewhat oppose 19%
Unsure/Refused 7%

Q. Do you have a relative or friend who has received care at the Berks Heim Nursing and
Rehabilitation center?

Yes 33%
No 66%
Unsure/Refused 1%

Demographics

Type of Phone
Landline 62%
Mobile 38%

Gender
Female 53%
Male 47%
6
Party Registration
Republican 42%
Democrat 43%
Independent 10%
Unsure/Refused 5%

Ideology
Very Conservative 22%
Somewhat Conservative 25%
Moderate 25%
Somewhat Liberal 12%
Very Liberal 13%
Unsure/Refused 3%

Age
18-34 14%
35-44 14%
45-54 19%
55-64 21%
65-74 17%
75+ 14%

Race
White 84%
African-American 4%
Hispanic or Latino 4%
Another race or ethnicity 4%
Unsure/Refused 4%

State Senate Districts


11 64%
24 7%
29 24%
44 5%

Region
Reading 14%
Ring 32%
Southeast 30%
Northwest 24%

7
METHODOLOGY: The sample size for the survey is 403 likely voters in Berks County,
Pennsylvania and the margin of error is +/-4.88%. Responses were gathered via landline and
mobile telephone interviews conducted by live callers at a professional call center. The survey
was conducted November 12 – 13, 2018 by Harper Polling. The total percentages of responses
may not equal 100% due to rounding.