Most Americans oppose leading Republican and Democratic proposals that could eventually change Medicare and instead want the program left as it is, according a recent national poll.
Most oppose changing Medicare: poll
A component of a Republican deficit-reduction plan garnered more support than an approach favored by Democrats, although neither claimed majority support. The Kaiser Family Foundation's April Health Tracking Poll, released April 27, found 46% of respondents favored moving Medicare to a “premium support” model, while 50% instead want no changes to it. The House of Representatives passed a budget plan that includes such a change as part of Republican efforts to reduce future federal deficits.
Alternately, 40% favored setting caps on how much the federal government spends on Medicare and other healthcare programs, and 55% opposed such a change. President Barack Obama's deficit-reduction “framework” would establish federal spending caps but explicitly exempts Medicare and other healthcare programs from them. However, many observers said expected bursts in Medicare spending after 2020 increase the likelihood that such caps eventually would extend to that program.
Both proposals are even more unpopular with people over 64—a key voting block—with nearly two-thirds opposing either approach to change Medicare.
The survey was conducted April 7 through April 12 among a nationally representative random sample of 1,207 adults.
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