Hope: 48% willing to see Medicare spending cut to reduce debt

posted at 10:03 pm on April 21, 2011 by Allahpundit

This is a shiny silver lining in another otherwise very dark cloud, but I’m so starved for good news in polling on Medicare that I’m willing to take the Jim Carrey position from “Dumb and Dumber.” What’s that you say? The chances of the American public supporting entitlement reform are one in a million?

So you’re telling me there’s a chance…

Given the choice to cut government spending on either Medicare, Social Security or the military, most Americans would prefer to leave Medicare alone – only 21 percent would cut it, while 45 percent would cut defense first. Seventeen percent would trim Social Security.

That doesn’t mean, however, Americans think Medicare will go untouched in future rounds of deficit-cutting. Most Americans – 57 percent – think it will be necessary to make changes in the program in order to lower the federal deficit.

If Medicare does have to be cut, 48 percent of Americans are willing to go along. However, there are big differences by age group, and willingness to make cuts in Medicare declines as Americans get older…

Rather than cuts to Medicare, Americans would prefer that recipients pay more into the system, especially higher-income Medicare recipients.

Here’s what they mean by “big differences by age group.” Remember which age group it is, too, that’s known for massive turnout on election day:


The headline at the Wall Street Journal tonight, just as I’m writing this, is “Republicans Seek to Reassure Seniors.” There’s still a lotttt of reassuring to be done, as CBS’s poll also finds that 61 percent of Americans say Medicare is worth its (unsustainable) cost, including 57 percent of independents. (Tea partiers split 41/46.) Fully 76 percent, including 79 percent of indies, think the government has a responsibility to provide health care to seniors (47/48 among tea partiers), which points the way to GOP messaging on this issue: They have to sell Ryan’s plan — or whatever we end up with as an alternative — as a measure aimed first and foremost at saving entitlements by making them sustainable in the long term. I think that angle has actually gotten lost a tiny bit as Ryan and the rest of the caucus emphasize the debt problem and then start talking about various programs that need to change to solve it. Once you frame the problem in terms of cutting a bunch of different things, the public will respond with “Okay, cut everything else except Medicare.” But of course, that won’t solve the budgetary problem long-term; there’s no way around the entitlement woods, only through it, so better that Ryan et al. re-frame the goal as saving as much of Medicare as possible now that a fiscal forest fire has already broken out. To borrow a metaphor favored by Ryan himself, the Democrats want the public to believe that he’s the pyromaniac here. He isn’t. He’s the fire department. Selling it that way, as a mission of preservation, is our best bet.

Speaking of which, here’s the arsonist-in-chief at yesterday’s Facebook town hall explaining how Ryan’s plan just isn’t that daring, darn it.


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“the arsonist-in-chief”

+7%…!

Seven Percent Solution on April 21, 2011 at 10:06 PM

I’d much rather chop more from MediCAID because I know for sure illegals get that it pisses me off royally.

SouthernGent on April 21, 2011 at 10:11 PM

I’m thinking the number of comments is going to drop off while the “Sarah Palin True Hollywood Story” is on.

txag92 on April 21, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Whats with all the Asians? I thought they tended to be fairly conservatives given their cultural upbringing.

jawkneemusic on April 21, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Sure cuts could happen. Then the reality of what the cuts really mean would set in quickly, people would go apeshiite, politicians would freakout correspondingly, and whatever was cut would be quickly re-instituted.

Bishop on April 21, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Okay, I followed link after link because I wanted to see an age breakdown for those who want Medicare taxes raised. And surprise, even in the report, they didn’t give a breakdown for that question:

56% would rather see Medicare recipients pay more in taxes than have the benefits of future retirees cut. And 49% would like to see higher-income recipients pay more, compared to 24%who would raise the age Medicare recipients get their benefits,

So how does that 56% breakdown across the various age ranges? Who are the ones that want to see taxes raised? Hmmmmm.

CJ on April 21, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Whats with all the Asians? I thought they tended to be fairly conservatives given their cultural upbringing.

jawkneemusic on April 21, 2011 at 10:12 PM

They are in California.

txag92 on April 21, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Spineless GOP sends Ryan out to take all the arrows…..when the GOP leadership can’t even get a billion $$$$ in real cuts!!!

We need a CONSERVATIVE in the White House or somewhere besides here pushing THE PAPPY PLAN!!

1. Seal the Border.

2. 10% across the board Federal Spending cuts.

PappyD61 on April 21, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Well, unless the feds discover a money factory somewhere…oh, wait.

cynccook on April 21, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Give the liberals a few days to do another poll with 22% Republicans, 35% Dems and 40 Ind, 3 Global Warmist and they will have a poll with $35% will to cut medicare to cut the debt.

Have faith.

WoosterOh on April 21, 2011 at 10:22 PM

It appears to me that everyone has forgotten that Obowmacare…

… was shoved down our throats.

Seven Percent Solution on April 21, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Cut it all… and do a HARD SCRUB on eligibility… ALL RECIPIENTS MUST PHYSICALLY SHOW UP at the office with TWO VALID FORMS OF PICTURE I.D. and run the person and all family members through e-verify…

That’ll thin the rolls…

Khun Joe on April 21, 2011 at 10:27 PM

**sigh** when are we going to finally be rid of the worthless (aka boomer) generation?

besser tot als rot on April 21, 2011 at 10:28 PM

However, there are big differences by age group, and willingness to make cuts in Medicare declines as Americans get older…

Gary North was right, and sooner than he thought:

The voters forget the obvious: younger voters giveth, and younger voters taketh away. When the existing arrangement seems to be front-loaded with costs and back-loaded with benefits, younger voters are going to pull the plug. They are going to say, “We won’t pay.” [...]
They think others will pick up their tab. They think they have the votes to coerce others to pay their tabs. They do have this power today; they will not have it a decade from now, let alone two decades from now.

Good advice in that piece, if one doesn’t want to be at the youngsters’ mercy, and possibly “die in a hovel,” both of which would suck.

Rae on April 21, 2011 at 10:29 PM

This is like saying that 48% think that it’s ok for the sun to rise in the east every morning. Medicare will either be reformed, or it will implode. Regardless of what anyone thinks, and regardless of how anyone votes. I’m banking on ‘implosion’. The chaos will be unsettling, but the ‘I told you so’ will be mighty, mighty sweet…

joejm65 on April 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Why isn’t a federal hiring freeze even being discussed? Why no federal pay freezes? Why does federal headcount seem to be a forbidden topic?

…As of March 23 they were hiring someone to run a Facebook page for the Deparment of the Interior (at up to $115,000 a year). They were hiring equal opportunity compliance officers at the Peace Corps and Department of Interior for $150,000 to $180,000 a pop. They were hiring deputy speechwriters for officials at relatively obscure agencies.

Why is the federal government hiring like there’s no tomorrow?

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Wow! Allen West was on fire in his just concluded Greta interview. She asked him if he wanted to take back his characterization of Obama as a “socialist agitator.” He refused and countered by calling him Barack Hussein Obama and giving a succinct list of Obama’s shortcomings.

Terrie on April 21, 2011 at 10:33 PM

No one is suggesting changing Medicare for anyone currently older than 54. What’s the point of polling cuts for people 55 and older.

Of course, the answer is obvious.

SlaveDog on April 21, 2011 at 10:34 PM

I kind of wish the Republicans would poison pill Medicare. Just give everything away now, give it more money, bloat it to where it just implodes.

WoosterOh on April 21, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Maybe prying the GOP with alcohol will get them to fight against the arsonist-in-chief’s noxious breath.

Like the Indian guy on The Big Bang Theory.

Kini on April 21, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Perhaps we can save some money (and time), if we just cut the cost of the office of President for the next two years.

Hey, a couple thousand here, couple thousand there. Couldn’t hurt. Just think of the money saved with no ‘date nights’.

GarandFan on April 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM

I would perhaps invite Mister Obama to explain his actions.

Of course, this would never be entertained, lest the MSM and the boot lickah’s dominate the conversation.

“Mister Obama. I shant call you president since you have not yet earned the title. Mister Obama, what would you do if Michelle Obama’s mother were to be suddenly sick?

She is, after all over the age of 65. Explain to me, given the fact that she has no health insurance: What would you do with your mother in law”.

Now, we all understand how pesky mother in laws can be. But, after checking all available records, it seems that she would be a recipient of the beautiful Obama Care program.

So, say she broke her hip, bilateral fractures; bad injury with ORIF on both sides.

Given her age, mister Obama, would you throw her to the wolves or would you grant treatment? If you choose to grant treatment, please do tell, by what board of commissioners would you violate to get Mrs. Robinson her needed treatment?

We shan’t wait for a response because we know one will not be forthcoming. A$$hole.

Key West Reader on April 21, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Ask anyone on Medicare…while they are covered, there are lots of out of pocket expenses. There’s supplemental ins for the 20 percent Medicare doesn’t cover, and that’s just for starters.

Ryan is actually trying to provide for old folks the same senior coverage that federal employees enjoy. They have a whole different system from Medicare “as we know it,” and none of them complain about it.

Hmmmmm. Get informed.

marybel on April 21, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Perhaps we can save some money (and time), if we just cut the cost of the office of President for the next two years.

Hey, a couple thousand here, couple thousand there. Couldn’t hurt. Just think of the money saved with no ‘date nights’.

GarandFan on April 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM

How about no more Wagyu beef for the White House? Wal-Mart beef is pretty good for the rest of us proles, why not the Bamster?

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Medicare = Welfare
Mediciaid – Seniors

POINT

We are out of money. There is no more money to care for you or for me or for your welfare babies from 12 daddies.

It is time to stop the welfare state. The original doctrine was to give aid in those of dire need. Now, what we have is welfare thugs. No other way to say it.

I am not not going to pay. I want people to beleive in themselves. There is nobody else to belive in, but yourslef.

Go with me.

Key West Reader on April 21, 2011 at 11:24 PM

This poll would have had more support if the demagogue in chief and the lame stream media would stop lying about the plans for Medicare. People over 65 are opposed because they think that their benefits (which they helped pay for) are going to be cut. The plans on the table start phasing it out for younger folks, if the truth was told, the support for this plan would be higher.

AZfederalist on April 21, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Until most Americans understand how much $3,500,000,000,000 really is, they are going to keep asking for more “free stuff” from the government and expecting ‘somebody else’ to pay for it.

rockmom on April 21, 2011 at 11:27 PM

That 48% are thinking of other folk’s Medicare benefits.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 21, 2011 at 11:28 PM

OK.

I will sleep in; I will try not to worry about tomorrorw; I ewill tell stories of ,.

I’m worried about Ed .. Is he okaY? There are times when people don’t even think about what bloggers do; they are castigated, escoriated (sp?), absolutely called the most horrible names in the world.

I don’t know buch about Ed, but I know that he is Married to Marcia and she writes religious things; I know thta she and ed have struggled..

I’m thankul that I have a place. I’m thankful for all of our health; I’m thankful to be privileged to have the ability to post.

Happy Easter. I’m totally going to Marco Island.

Love

Key West Reader on April 21, 2011 at 11:33 PM

I keep telling you the mantra of most Americans regardless of political affiliation is “Yes Yes we need to cut the damn government spending” “Hold on a sec I didn’t mean that part of the government because er I need it”

The lines are being drawn for a generational fight. If the GOP puts up a Michelle Bachman or Rand Paul you can bet Obama will start to peel off lots and lots of seniors. Young people don’t traditionally show up in big numbers.
Game set match and the people screaming to purge the party of moderates and rinos will slink off into the shadows after election eve in 2012.

Bradky on April 21, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Go for the flat tax with zero exemptions — of course that means no exemptions for disabled family members, no mortgage interest write off, no home used as business write off, etc. It also means that the large majority of people who don’t pay taxes would have to pony up just like everyone else – at least it would be fair.

“Umm Bradky, what do you mean I should pay no more or less than everyone else because it is based on a percentage? You are talking like a conservative and I’m morphing into special interest liberal. In fact they will have to pry the mortgage interest write off out of my cold dead fingers…”

Bradky on April 21, 2011 at 11:51 PM

**sigh** when are we going to finally be rid of the worthless (aka boomer) generation?

besser tot als rot on April 21, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Just turned 50. I am considered a “baby boomer”. I have known since I was 17 that I would never draw a dime of social security. Ponzi scheme. Social Security must end. Medicare must end. Retirement age must be raised to 75 NOW! 2012 would be acceptable. I would rather die in the street than dump trillions in debt on my grand children. My father served in WW2. 2 brothers served in peace time, 1 during Desert Storm. 3 nephews serving now. Paying my own way is nothing compared to that.

oldman13 on April 21, 2011 at 11:58 PM

what ever happened to all the fraud/waste/abuse that we heard about when Obamacare was going to pass?

RonK on April 22, 2011 at 12:06 AM

The chaos will be unsettling, but the ‘I told you so’ will be mighty, mighty sweet…

joejm65 on April 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Don’t get your hopes up. The inability of many people in this country to face up to the coming fiscal calamity will only be exceeded by their inability to accept responsibility when it comes.

PackerBronco on April 22, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Imagine that…. a ponzi scheme where the BIG beneficiaries don’t mind the government use’n it’s force to make sure new contributors are feed into da scheme…. wonder why Pomzi or Madoff didn’t think of that.

roflmao

donabernathy on April 22, 2011 at 12:11 AM

The chaos will be unsettling, but the ‘I told you so’ will be mighty, mighty sweet…

joejm65 on April 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM

So you fantasize about the country failing — are you one of those guys who fancies himself riding about on horseback as the commanding general of a handful of wideeyed people killing others for food?

Bradky on April 22, 2011 at 12:12 AM

WTF…WASN’T OBAMA-DON’T-CARE SUPPOSED TO REFORM HEALTHCARE AND REDUCE COSTS……WTF WAS THAT 2 WASTED YEARS FER.

ROFLMAO

donabernathy on April 22, 2011 at 12:13 AM

” Remember which age group it is, too, that’s known for massive turnout on election day:”

Maybe conservatives should start to educate the older folks that either spending cuts will need to be made, and medicare is one of the places to do it… or that these people who support medicare get to have their medical coverage rationed under Obamacare.

I pick shred Medicare. Then dump Obamacare.

And cats will live with dogs.

And Napoleon the pig, er, President Obama, will start calling for no cuts.

And so, like Boxer, we “will work harder”… until Napoleon calls for a van to take us to the glue factory.. or simply asks for the non-elected Obamacare medical advisory board to start denying medical coverage for those > 65 yrs old.

And so it goes…

Danny on April 22, 2011 at 12:35 AM

**sigh** when are we going to finally be rid of the worthless (aka boomer) generation?

besser tot als rot on April 21, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Well I’m not old enough for the death panels to do me in. so besser tot als rot how would you like to be “rid” of me? I’m still paying into SS/med etc. and paying taxes maybe you should wait until I’m retirement age, then knock me off? I’ve been paying in for 40 years got 10 more in me, maybe your just a little rash as to the timing?

IowaWoman on April 22, 2011 at 1:04 AM

oldman13 on April 21, 2011 at 11:58 PM
I’m with you oldman. I too knew I would not receive a penny of the money I put in. Stop the madness now. I do not like being called worthless. I have not only worked since I was 14years old. I have also started businesses that have given other people jobs. My son now owns businesses that provide jobs. Paying the Government ponzi scheme and taxes all along. I just wondering what makes besser tot als rot so much more worthwhile and me worthless? I’m sure other worthless (aka boomer) generation babies would not accept the worthless title. I feel that:

**sigh** when are we going to finally be rid of the worthless (aka boomer) generation?

Is a bigoted remark.

IowaWoman on April 22, 2011 at 1:27 AM

When trying to get the public’s head out of the sand on this, it can’t be phrased as ‘cuts or no cuts’. Of course a heavy majority are going to pick ‘no cuts’.

It has to be stressed that cuts are unavoidable, unescapable.

Once that fact has sunk in the question becomes ‘what kind of cuts’. You can have Ryan’s vouchers or President Obama’s advisory board, or something in between.

There is no ‘magic skittle sh!tting unicorn’ option.

BadgerHawk on April 22, 2011 at 3:36 AM

I’m so starved for good news in polling on Medicare

Want good news? How ’bout the Republican LANDSLIDE in November all based on reducing gov’t…oh. forgot that?
Poll sniffers will never do a damn thing because they will always have the latest poll that says DO NOTHING…Rino nirvana!

winston on April 22, 2011 at 4:46 AM

**sigh** when are we going to finally be rid of the worthless (aka boomer) generation?

besser tot als rot on April 21, 2011 at 10:28 PM

So sorry to be inconveniencing you. What’s the matter? Mommy and Daddy can’t support you any more?
I’ve got news for you,ignoramus. Most of us are still working and paying.

katy the mean old lady on April 22, 2011 at 5:45 AM

Maybe people are starting to get the idea that we are running out of money…or actually that we have run out of money.

Medicare is already making cuts anyway.

Terrye on April 22, 2011 at 6:29 AM

for cripe sakes, those over 55 won’t be affected….are you listening or just sheeple for dear leader

cmsinaz on April 22, 2011 at 7:22 AM

That 48% are thinking of other folk’s Medicare benefits.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 21, 2011 at 11:28 PM

BULL! I know I’m not going to get anything. Let me take MY contribution and stick it in an HSA account and let me pay for MY illnesses through private insurance and my personal funds.

How is that thinking about others benefits?

dominigan on April 22, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Politicians aren’t worried! They will just default on ALL US debt and it will magically go away! Fresh start and all that. No harm no foul.

/s

FireFly on April 22, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Fully 76 percent, including 79 percent of indies, think the government has a responsibility to provide health care to seniors (47/48 among tea partiers)

There’s a lot of ways to take this. For me, I agree that we have that responsibility for our current and soon to be seniors. They’ve paid into this system for years with the promise that it would be there for them when they need it. So yes, we owe them; however, I don’t have a problem cutting that off at some lower age group that’s already gotten used to the idea that programs like that won’t be around when we’re old enough anyway.

It’s my hope that by acting now, we can limit the number of people we have to cut out of this program to just those who weren’t actually counting on it. Ideally, people in their 30s and below. But it’s my fear that the longer we wait on this, the more likely it’ll be that people who have counted on this most of their lives will see it gone when they need it the most.

This is absolutely about saving as much of it as we can to help those most vulnerable. The worst thing we can do is pretend there isn’t a problem, get them dependent on us, and leave them with nothing.

Esthier on April 22, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Add Medicare and Medicaid together, divide by 2, block grant to the States by population, phase out 20% of the original amount each year for five years.

The States will get a slight bonus the first year and know that the amount declines, per year, and have to figure out if THEY can pay for this supposed ‘good’.

The plus side is the entire federal bureaucracy for both Medicare and Medicaid disappear the first year as there are no strings on the block grant, save to be applied to medical care for the population of the States. Thus no fancy rules, regulations, bureaucrats, overhead and having to appeal to the federal government.

That wipes out the huge bureaucracy, cuts the absolute spending in half, and phases it out over a relatively short period of time. States can figure this stuff out better than ANY federal bureaucracy can. That means HHS goes away.

ajacksonian on April 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM

I suppose the adjective “worthless” was a bit petulant, but in my defense was applied to a generation, not individuals. Perhaps a better descriptions would be “the narcissistic generation” or “the nation-destroying generation” or “the grandchild-enslaving generation” or something similar. But hey, I guess I and my 6 kids should just bow down and be happy to pay max SS contribution for 30-40 years so that the boomers can have a nice retirement, while leaving leaving us a country with no future.

besser tot als rot on April 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM

suppose the adjective “worthless” was a bit petulant, but in my defense was applied to a generation, not individuals. Perhaps a better descriptions would be “the narcissistic generation” or “the nation-destroying generation” or “the grandchild-enslaving generation” or something similar. But hey, I guess I and my 6 kids should just bow down and be happy to pay max SS contribution for 30-40 years so that the boomers can have a nice retirement, while leaving leaving us a country with no future.

besser tot als rot on April 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM

What a half azz attempt at an apology. Now your kids will know how we’ve felt for the last 40 or 50 years.

katy the mean old lady on April 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Rather than positioning it as cuts in medicare spending, republicans should position it as “changes that reduce costs yet maintain service”.

The notion that it is much less expensive to simply give each retiree a subsidy to a private plan that they select is one example. No more government bureaucrats handling all that paperwork and all that fraud. Private insurance companies are already pretty good at spotting fraud and they have an incentive to provide good service because you can switch to a different plan.

Government has no competition.

Anyway, the whole thing is being spun wrong.

Don’t cut medicare. Provide better service for less money.

crosspatch on April 22, 2011 at 1:22 PM