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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Public Says Medicare Cuts Off Table

In his latest ‘Public Opinion snapshot,’ TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira has what should be the last word in any discussion about Medicare cuts. “Conservatives have successfully held the country’s economy hostage by refusing to raise the debt ceiling,” notes Teixeira. “But they’ve been less successful in cutting Medicare. There’s a simple reason for this: Cutting Medicare to reduce the deficit is very, very unpopular.” Teixeira adds,

Fifty-nine percent of respondents in the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll say there should be no reductions in Medicare to reduce the deficit, compared to 30 percent who support minor reductions and just 10 percent who support major reductions.

In fact, the public doesn’t even want to talk about the possibility, Teixeira explains:

Even more definitively, the public thinks reductions in Medicare spending should not even be part of the discussion about reducing the long-term budget deficit by an overwhelming 67-28 margin.

The message is clear for Dems, says Teixeira. “So progressives should continue to defend Medicare vigorously with the confidence that they have the public’s strong support.”

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