Enough discussion around Paul Ryan and his plan to voucherize Medicare has filtered through to make the American voting public distrust it and have a negative reaction. But when voters are told precisely what's in the plan, they really, really hate it.
Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 8/16-19. Registered voters. MoE ±3.1% (no trendlines):
Q: Do you support or oppose Paul Ryan's proposal for reforming Medicare?
Not sure 18%
Q: Do you believe traditional Medicare insurance for seniors should be replaced with vouchers to allow the elderly to buy private insurance if they want health care coverage, or not?
Traditional Medicare insurance for seniors should be replaced with vouchers 19%
It should not 63%
Not sure 18%
Among self-identified moderates, 60 percent say they oppose Paul Ryan's proposal, but a whopping 72 percent are opposed to a voucherized plan. In a sadly amusing twist, conservatives support the proposal when it's called the Paul Ryan proposal by 61 percent, but only 28 percent support the actual proposal, that Medicare should be replaced by vouchers. A plurality—44 percent—don't like the idea of vouchers at all, somehow magically erasing Paul Ryan's name from it in their heads.
Strong opposition is the reaction voters, particularly seniors, had when the original Ryan Medicare plan was introduced in 2011—62 percent of seniors said they wanted Paul Ryan's hands off their Medicare. That's why Ryan tried to repackage the plan as "premium support" and decided that it wouldn't apply to current old people, just future old people. But the core of the program is still vouchers that won't keep up with the cost of health care, and seniors that will have to pay more and more out of their pockets.
Medicare works. People like it. Proposing a change this drastic is clearly a major problem for Romney/Ryan, provided they are sufficiently pegged with this plan. It's clear what the Obama campaign and congressional Democrats need to do: relentlessly hammer the message that the Ryan/Romney plan is vouchers.
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