A new Democratic poll out today shows that a majority of likely voters in the 2012 election are firmly opposed to the House Republican’s overhaul of Medicare.
The poll, conducted by Democratic firm Anzalone-Liszt for Dem-leaning groups, found that 54% of respondents don’t support "transformational" changes to Medicare -- when they’re told that "Medicare would be turned into a voucher program" and "the government would provide vouchers to help seniors buy their own private health insurance policy" instead of paying doctors and hospitals directly for treating seniors.
Opposition to the plan is even greater among seniors (58% of them don’t support it) and independents (60%).
"A lot of people don't actually know about the House Republican budget," said Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress and the Dem group Know Your Care, which helped commission the poll. "But what they do know, they don't like."
The poll also found that voters trust Obama and Democrats more than congressional Republicans on health care, Medicare, and protecting the middle class. Obama holds a seven-point margin over the John Boehner-led House Republican caucus (48%-41%) on Medicare, as well as a whopping 15-point advantage when it comes to protecting the middle class (51%-36%). Democratic pollster Jeff Liszt argues these numbers have a "good" chance of staying the same as the campaign season for 2012 heats up, even if Democrats offer an alternative plan that cuts some Medicare benefits.
"I would be surprised if a Democratic alternative has the same impact," Liszt said. "When you talk about the kind of changes Democrats propose -- going after waste, fraud, abuse -- there is a lot less political fallout in that than replacing the program wholesale with a voucher program that may not cover seniors expenses."