Political Correction

Another Day, Another Poll, An Even More Frightening Number For GOP Medicare Scheme

April 20, 2011 5:19 pm ET - by Alan Pyke

Yesterday it was McClatchy-Marist, today it's Washington Post-ABC News, but the polling outcome is largely the same: American voters really, really dislike the GOP's idea of how to address the debt.

The topline numbers on taxing income over $250,000 and cutting Medicare and Medicaid are comparable to those released yesterday, offering no comfort to nervous Republicans. But a peek inside the internals shows that Washington Post-ABC broke some new ground. Question 20, posed only to the 34 percent of total respondents who favor a generic voucher program, asked, "What if the cost of private insurance rises faster than the value of the vouchers, so seniors have to pay more of their own money for health insurance? In that case, would you support or oppose replacing Medicare with a voucher system?" When the CBO-certified fact that the GOP's vouchers won't keep pace with costs is explained to voters, opposition jumps to 84 percent.

All this explains why GOPers are trying to rebrand their program as "premium support" that's "just like the [system] that I have as a Member of Congress." But even a supporter of the plan says they're vouchers (and many other policy experts reject the GOP's "premium support" label), while nonpartisan groups like PolitiFact and Kaiser Health News have shown the 'just like Congress' care' line to be dishonest.

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