Americans oppose Medicare voucher plan

There’s been a lot of talk about how to fix Medicare as the presidential election heats up. But a new poll finds the Republican favored solution to fix Medicare isn’t favored by Americans.

According to the Pew Research Center survey, 72 percent of American adults have heard either a lot or a little about a voucher-like program that would give seniors credit to purchase their own health care coverage. And among those who are aware, the idea remains unpopular—by a 49 percent to 34 percent margin more oppose than favor the idea.

The Medicare voucher plan is backed by Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, though 17 percent of those surveyed think the voucher plan is President Obama’s idea.

This is virtually unchanged from public reactions a little over a year ago, when Republicans in the House voted in favor of this proposal as part of the “Ryan plan.”

Not surprisingly, seniors express the strongest opposition to changing Medicare into a program that offers future participants credits toward purchasing private health insurance coverage. People age 65 and older who have heard about this proposal oppose it by a 55 percent to 24 percent margin.

There also is more opposition than support among people age 50 to 64, while those under age 50 are more divided.

The issue also splits along partisan lines with Democrats opposed to such a change by a 61 percent to 28 percent margin, while Republicans are more likely to favor it, though by a slimmer 46 percent to 32 percent margin.

Additionally, the survey finds that though Americans think reducing the deficit is a high priority, there’s little support of doing so if it means entitlement cuts. When asked whether it is more important to reduce the budget deficit or to keep Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are, Americans continue to prioritize maintaining benefits.


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