Paul Ryan’s selection to the Republican ticket has put the issue of Medicare squarely on the 2012 campaign agenda. And the latest Pew Research Center survey continues to find the public is aware of a proposal to gradually shift Medicare to a system of vouchers and is, on balance, more opposed than supportive of the idea.
The survey, conducted August 16-19, 2012 among 1,005 adults nationwide, finds 72% have heard a lot or a little about a proposal to change Medicare into a program that would give future participants a credit toward purchasing private health insurance coverage. And among those who are aware, the idea remains unpopular; by a 49% to 34% margin more oppose than favor the 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.”
More generally, while surveys consistently find that dealing with the deficit is a high priority for Americans, there is little support for 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.
Read the full report, Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.