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Archive for Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Poll: Most think Medicare doesn’t need to be cut

May 24, 2011

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— They’re not buying it. Most Americans say they don’t believe Medicare has to be cut to balance the federal budget, and ditto for Social Security, a new poll shows.

The Associated Press-GfK poll suggests that arguments for overhauling the massive benefit programs to pare government debt have failed to sway the public. The debate is unlikely to be resolved before next year’s elections for president and Congress.

Americans worry about the future of the retirement safety net, the poll found, and 3 out of 5 say the two programs are vital to their basic financial security as they age. That helps explain why the Republican Medicare privatization plan flopped, and why President Barack Obama’s Medicare cuts to finance his health care law contributed to Democrats losing control of the House in last year’s elections.

Medicare seems to be turning into the new third rail of politics.

“I’m pretty confident Medicare will be there, because there would be a rebellion among voters,” said Nicholas Read, 67, a retired teacher who lives near Buffalo, N.Y. “Republicans only got a hint of that this year. They got burned. They touched the hot stove.”

Combined, Social Security and Medicare account for about a third of government spending, a share that will only grow. Economic experts say the cost of retirement programs for an aging society is the most serious budget problem facing the nation. The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare recently warned the programs are “not sustainable” over the long run under current financing.

Nearly every solution for Social Security is politically toxic because the choices involve cutting benefits or raising taxes. Medicare is even harder to fix because the cost of modern medicine is going up faster than the overall cost of living, outpacing economic growth as well as tax revenues.

“Medicare is an incredibly complex area,” said former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., who used to chair the Budget Committee. “It’s a matrix that is almost incomprehensible. Unlike Social Security, which has four or five moving parts, Medicare has hundreds of thousands. There is no single approach to Medicare, whereas with Social Security everyone knows where the problem is.”

That’s not what the public sees, however.

“It’s more a matter of bungling, and lack of oversight, and waste and fraud, and padding of the bureaucracy,” said Carolyn Rodgers, who lives near Memphis, Tenn., and is still working as a legal assistant at 74. “There is no reason why even Medicare, if it had been handled right, couldn’t have been solvent.”

In the poll, 54 percent said it’s possible to balance the budget without cutting spending for Medicare, and 59 percent said the same about Social Security.

Taking both programs together, 48 percent said the government could balance the budget without cutting either one. Democrats and political independents were far more likely than Republicans to say that neither program will have to be cut.

Comments

pace 3 years, 7 months ago

The Bush tax cuts need to end. To ask the elderly to give up their pension and medical care. They have paid into the system. to rob them so the wealthiest can continue their tax cut is corrupt. The Bush tax cuts have to end. We need to reduce the deficit, the deficit is fueled by the Bush Tax cuts and the wars. The tax cuts ending would just mean the rich would be paying the taxes they owe.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 7 months ago

"Poll: Most think Medicare doesn’t need to be cut"

I've been told that there's a problem in that the government of the USA is now borrowing 40 cents for every dollar it spends. Will that work better at the federal level than it works with my credit card? Well, the government can print money and I can't. Not legally, anyway.

"In the poll, 54 percent said it’s possible to balance the budget without cutting spending for Medicare, and 59 percent said the same about Social Security."

Was that only opinion, or was it based upon careful study of the available financing?

"The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare recently warned the programs are “not sustainable” over the long run under current financing."

All of this does not add up very well. And, people will never vote politicians into office that take away benefits that they feel entitled to.

Some say that very hard times are coming, and that it would be better to deal with the serious issues now instead of waiting for a financial crisis that will deal with them much more harshly later.

We're fighting two wars now. Or is Lybia a war too? That would make it three. Do we actually have the money for that? It sounds to me like we don't.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Hands Off Our Medicare - Preserve and Protect Medicare! http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

Single-payer healthcare supporters all over the country are joining together to preserve and protect Medicare from draconian cuts from members of the Deficit Commission who have spent billions to privatize and destroy our safety net. We say loud and clear: "HANDS OFF OUR MEDICARE!" We need Medicare for All (HR 676)! Campaign Updates Hands Off Our Medicare - Preserve and Protect Medicare! http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

Single-payer healthcare supporters all over the country are joining together to preserve and protect Medicare from draconian cuts from members of the Deficit Commission who have spent billions to privatize and destroy our safety net. We say loud and clear: "HANDS OFF OUR MEDICARE!" We need Medicare for All (HR 676)! Campaign Updates

* Keep Your Hands Off My Medicare!
* What we’re not being told about Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan
* House Republicans Propose $4 Trillion in Cuts Over Decade
* WSJ/NBC Poll: Hands Off Medicare, Social Security
* Medicaid Roulette

http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

RSS Healthcare-NOW!

* Single Payer in California?
* Poll: Medicare doesn’t have to be cut
* A Doctor’s Push for Single-Payer Health Care for All Finds Traction in Vermont
* GOP plan is a non-starter
* America’s Healthcare Crisis is Getting Worse

http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

* Keep Your Hands Off My Medicare!
* What we’re not being told about Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan
* House Republicans Propose $4 Trillion in Cuts Over Decade
* WSJ/NBC Poll: Hands Off Medicare, Social Security
* Medicaid Roulette

http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

RSS Healthcare-NOW!

* Single Payer in California?
* Poll: Medicare doesn’t have to be cut
* A Doctor’s Push for Single-Payer Health Care for All Finds Traction in Vermont
* GOP plan is a non-starter
* America’s Healthcare Crisis is Getting Worse

http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Hands Off Our Medicare - Preserve and Protect Medicare! http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

Single-payer healthcare supporters all over the country are joining together to preserve and protect Medicare from draconian cuts from members of the Deficit Commission who have spent billions to privatize and destroy our safety net. We say loud and clear: "HANDS OFF OUR MEDICARE!" We need Medicare for All (HR 676)!

Campaign Updates Hands Off Our Medicare - Preserve and Protect Medicare! http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

  • Keep Your Hands Off My Medicare!
  • What we’re not being told about Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan
  • House Republicans Propose $4 Trillion in Cuts Over Decade
  • WSJ/NBC Poll: Hands Off Medicare, Social Security
  • Medicaid Roulette http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

RSS Healthcare-NOW!

* Single Payer in California?
* Poll: Medicare doesn’t have to be cut
* A Doctor’s Push for Single-Payer Health Care for All Finds Traction in Vermont
* GOP plan is a non-starter
* America’s Healthcare Crisis is Getting Worse

http://www.handsoffourmedicare.org/

scott3460 3 years, 7 months ago

Predicting one of the right wing apologists will chime in soon with a complaint about the information in the above posts. Even though most Americans get it and agree. Poor right wingers. Their grab for your retirement $$$ doesn't seem to be working.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

"The Takers need the Makers to pay their way."

Indeed they do. That's what they pay the Republican Party to do for them.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 7 months ago

The linkbot has woken. Fear his mad copy/paste skillz!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

Republicans need to continue to search for ways to trash the economy. The last round of disaster economics clearly hasn't created enough sheeple. But they are nothing if not persistent in their commitment to making sure the wealthiest of the wealthy get even more wealth and power.

mloburgio 3 years, 7 months ago

Fascism and Neoconservative Republicans A Fascist is one who believes in a corporatist society. In other words, it is a political philosophy embodying very strong central government, with the authority to move in decisive steps to accomplish goals. It would be characterized by a unity of purpose, with more or less all the levels of the hierarchy in unison, starting at the top and working down. It is a top-down government invol We have a group, here in America that believes in a corporatist political philosophy. What would that look like? If it were a true Fascist organization, they would ally themselves with big corporations, like the health care industry, oil and mining, pharmaceuticals, media corporations and the military-industrial complex.ving an alliance of industry, military, media and a political party. http://www.populistdaily.com/politics/neoconservative-republicans-and-fascism.html

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