If you thought that, surely by now Republicans would have a clue that screwing around with Medicare is an unpopular idea, you would be wrong. The House Republican budget bill cuts funding for Medicare and substitutes a fixed amount voucher that seniors would have to use to buy private health insurance. “To say this approach is unpopular is to considerably understate the case,” explains TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira in his latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot‘:
First, take cutting Medicare. In a just-released Washington Post/ABC poll 78 percent opposed cutting spending on Medicare “to reduce the national debt,” including 65 percent who were strongly opposed. This compares to just 21 percent who favored cutting the program.
The voucher idea long-favored by conservatives’ fared even worse in the poll, notes Teixeira:
As for turning Medicare into a fixed amount voucher to be used to purchase private health insurance, 65 percent in the same poll prefer that the system remain the way it is. And that number rises to 84 percent when a follow-up query is posed stipulating that the value of the voucher would rise more slowly than the price of private health insurance (as the Congressional Budget Office projects will be the case).
As Teixeira concludes, “This can fairly be characterized as massive opposition.”