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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Public Opposes Cuts in Key Entitlements

Republicans still want to slash Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits to reduce the debt, but the latest public opinion data indicates they will be facing overwhelming public opposition in doing so. TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira explains in this week’s ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’:

…A just-released Pew poll documents the extent of public opposition. The poll asked respondents what is more important, reducing the budget deficit or keeping Medicare and Social Security benefits as they are. By an overwhelming 60-32 margin the public prefers to keep Medicare and Social Security as they are.

The same opposition applies to GOP proposals to make people pay more for their Medicare benefits:

The public is also opposed to increasing the health care costs Medicare recipients are responsible for. By 61-31, the public believes people on Medicare are already paying enough of their health care costs.

Nor is there much public support for reducing medical benefits for low-income Americans:

…By 58-37, they say that low-income people should not have their benefits taken away, rather than agreeing that states should be able to cut back on Medicaid eligibility to deal with budget problems.

All of the media hype about debt reduction notwithstanding, the public remains unconvinced that “slashing Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security has to be part of any such deal,” says Teixeira. “Conservatives, if they have any sense, will back off on this one.”

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