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Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular; Plurality Views Ryan VP Choice Negatively

 
 
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 10:51 am
August 21, 2012
Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular
Plurality Views Ryan VP Choice Negatively
Overview
PEW RESEARCH CENTER

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.

The public offers a relatively negative assessment of Mitt Romney’s selection of Ryan as his running mate. Nearly half (46%) say Ryan is an only fair or poor choice, while 28% say he is an excellent or good choice. By comparison, reactions to John Kerry’s selection of John Edwards in 2004, and Bill Clinton’s selection of Al Gore in 1992, were more positive than negative.

But public assessments of Ryan’s Democratic counterpart are even more negative. Just 27% say Joe Biden has done an excellent or good job as vice president, while 56% say his job performance has been only fair or poor.

Romney’s selection of Ryan as his running mate received less public attention than the selection of Palin and Biden to the Republican and Democratic tickets in 2008. Fewer than half (42%) say they heard a lot about the choice of Ryan this year, while 57% heard little or nothing. In 2008, 56% said they had heard a lot about McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin and 58% heard a lot about Obama’s selection of Joe Biden in the weeks following those announcements.

At this point, most Americans do not associate Ryan with the proposal to change Medicare. Just 23% of those who have heard about the idea of shifting Medicare to a system of credits to buy private insurance identify it as Ryan’s. Nearly as many (17%) say Barack Obama proposed this, while 44% do not know who proposed it.
Medicare Vouchers

As has consistently been the case, seniors express the strongest opposition to changing Medicare into a program that offers future participants credits toward purchasing private health insurance coverage. People age 65 and older who have heard about this proposal oppose it by a 55% to 24% margin, with fully 46% saying they are strongly opposed. There also is more opposition than support among people age 50 to 64, while those under age 50 are more divided.

The issue also splits along partisan lines with Democrats opposed to such a change by a 61% to 28% margin, while Republicans are more likely to favor it, though by a slimmer 46% to 32% margin. Among independents, 49% are opposed to this sort of gradual shift toward Medicare vouchers, while 34% are in favor.
Entitlements vs. Deficit Reduction

In January, 69% said reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority for the president and Congress, up significantly from recent years. But the public rejects changing Social Security and Medicare benefits to achieve deficit reduction.

Overall, 51% say it is more important to keep Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are, compared with 33% who say it is more important to take steps to reduce the budget deficit; 11% volunteer that they are equally important.

Democrats prioritize maintaining benefits over deficit reduction by a wide 64% to 23% margin. By contrast, Republicans are somewhat more likely to say taking steps to reduce the budget deficit (48%) is more important than keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are (34%). About half of independents (48%) prioritize maintaining benefits, compared with 35% who say reducing the deficit is more important.

Fully 61% of seniors say maintaining benefits is more important, just 22% say reducing the budget deficit should take priority. And those with low family incomes overwhelmingly favor maintaining current benefits: 66% say it is more important to keep Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are, compared with just 16% who say it is more important to reduce the deficit.
Low Ratings for Ryan Choice, Biden Performance

Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate receives a more negative than positive reaction from the public. Overall, 46% say Ryan is an only fair (23%) or poor (22%) choice, while just 28% call him an excellent (14%) or good (14%) choice; 26% do not offer a rating.

Six-in-ten (60%) Republicans call Ryan an excellent or good choice, 20% say he is an only fair or poor choice and 20% do not offer an evaluation. Nearly seven-in-ten (68%) conservative Republicans say Ryan is an excellent or good choice, just 16% give the selection an only fair or poor rating. Independents view the Ryan selection somewhat more negatively than positively – 30% call him an excellent or good choice, compared with 42% who say he is only a fair or poor choice; 27% of independents offer no rating. Democrats view the Ryan choice overwhelmingly negatively – 70% say he is an only fair or poor selection; just 8% say excellent or good.

Views of the Ryan vice presidential selection are somewhat less positive than those for John Edwards in 2004 and Al Gore in 1992. In 2004, 49% said Edwards was an excellent or good choice, 31% called him an only fair or poor choice and 20% did not offer an opinion. In 1992, 40% said Gore was an excellent or good choice compared with 27% who said he was an only fair or poor choice; a third (33%) offered no opinion.

Joe Biden receives more negative ratings for the job he has done as vice president. Only 27% say he has done an excellent (7%) or good (20%) job as vice president; about twice as many (56%) say he has done an only fair (31%) or poor (25%) job.

Biden receives tepid ratings from his own party. About half of Democrats (51%) say Biden has done an excellent or good job, while 36% rate his performance as only fair or poor. Liberal Democrats (61% excellent or good) are more likely than conservative and moderate Democrats (46% excellent or good) to rate Biden’s job performance positively. Most independents (59%) and a broad majority of Republicans (87%) say Biden has done an only fair or poor job as vice president.

NUMBERS

http://www.people-press.org/2012/08/21/medicare-voucher-plan-remains-unpopular/
 
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 11:08 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
The problem with Ryan's plan, is that the media has been lying about it from the start. People 55 and older if/when program is approved will see no change to Medicare, those under 55 will have a choice, keep the Medicare services as it is now, or select the voucher system.

The Media has been lying about the Ryan plan from the start. If the real aspects of the program were portrayed by the left leaning media then there wouldn't be any confusion about Ryan's plan.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 11:15 am
@Baldimo,
Quote:

The Media has been lying about the Ryan plan from the start.


Totally wrong. You simply haven't looked at the details in any depth, and have assumed that what Ryan has claimed is the truth. It isn't - current seniors WOULD be impacted by Ryan's plan, as it would begin to starve Medicare of money almost immediately. It will lead to a loss of benefits for them.

Cycloptichorn
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 11:27 am
@Cycloptichorn,
You mean like Obama stealing $700 billion from Medicare to support TOHCA?
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 11:29 am
@Baldimo,
Baldimo wrote:

You mean like Obama stealing $700 billion from Medicare to support TOHCA?


That's another GOP talking point that has no basis in reality whatsoever. The ACA leads to no loss of benefits for any Medicare subscriber whatsoever.

Can you detail exactly what that $700 billion was, and how it was 'stolen?' I doubt you know even the slightest about it at all.

Do us (and yourself) a favor - look it up and report back.

Cycloptichorn

Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 11:51 am
@Cycloptichorn,
So you can say what you want with no proof but you say I provide proof.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/14/romneys-right-obamacare-cuts-medicare-by-716-billion-heres-how/

Make sure when you post a story about the Ryan plan, you use the 2012 plan and not the 2011 plan.
Cycloptichorn
 
  4  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 11:57 am
@Baldimo,
It's always appropriate to ask someone to provide proof. If you want me to provide proof to back up any of my assertions, you have but to ask.

From your link:

Quote:
It’s worth noting that there’s one area these cuts don’t touch: Medicare benefits. The Affordable Care Act rolls back payment rates for hospitals and insurers. It does not, however, change the basket of benefits that patients have access to. And, as Ezra pointed out earlier today, the Ryan budget would keep these cuts in place.


I'm well aware of the differences between Ryan's various budgets, thanks very much.

Cycloptichorn
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 12:09 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
So you admit then that Obama has taken $700 Billion from Medicare to help pay for TOHCA.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 12:16 pm
@Baldimo,
Baldimo wrote:

So you admit then that Obama has taken $700 Billion from Medicare to help pay for TOHCA.


What's TOHCA? If you're talking about the ACA, please use its real name.

No, I don't admit that anything at all was 'taken' from Medicare. You are using a faulty interpretation of what the ACA does, in order to try and score political points. In reality, it was not Medicare which was cut, but a program called Medicare Advantage, which was nothing more than a GOP-designed handout to insurance companies. I suggest you actually read the article you cited for the details.

Cycloptichorn
parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 01:59 pm
@Baldimo,
From YOUR source Baldimo

Quote:
It’s worth noting that there’s one area these cuts don’t touch: Medicare benefits.


If Obama doesn't cut benefits then where is the cut? The amount of money taken in doesn't change. The savings is in future payouts which keeps the trust fund solvent for a longer time period. People have the same benefits but the costs go down for a couple of reasons. One being that people are healthier when they get to Medicare.

Ryan's plan actually makes the trust fund insolvent faster.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 02:02 pm
@Baldimo,
Baldimo wrote:

So you admit then that Obama has taken $700 Billion from Medicare to help pay for TOHCA.

That would be inaccurate Baldimo.

Simple example.
Assume I put $100 a month into an account for food which has $1000 in it and I spend $100 a month from that account for food.
Food drops in price and I only spend $90 a month for food but I continue to put $100 into the account. Where did I take the money from?
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 02:37 pm
@parados,
I am going to stay on this thread too see if you convince him.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 03:51 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
In reality, it was not Medicare which was cut, but a program called Medicare Advantage, which was nothing more than a GOP-designed handout to insurance companies. I suggest you actually read the article you cited for the details.


Indeed, from Baldimo's source:

The majority of the cuts, as you can see in this chart below, come from reductions in how much Medicare reimburses hospitals and private health insurance companies.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/files/2012/08/Medicare-Cuts.jpg

The blue section represents reductions in how much Medicare reimburses private, Medicare Advantage plans. That program allows seniors to join a private health insurance, with the federal government footing the bill. The whole idea of Medicare Advantage was to drive down the cost of health insurance for the elderly as private insurance companies competing for seniors’ business.

That’s not what happened. By 2010, the average Medicare Advantage per-patient cost was 117 percent of regular fee-for-service. The Affordable Care Act gives those private plans a haircut and tethers reimbursement levels to the quality of care administered, and patient satisfaction.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Essentially, the insurance and hospital corporations are bilking the system, and this is what the Republican campaign is harping about: cuts to the interests of the insurance and hospital corporations, who after all, they tell us, are people too.
0 Replies
 
 

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