Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Medicare Still Wildly Popular, 2012 Politics of Medicare

Another Poll Shows Medicare Support

"House Republicans are sure they have a new message strategy for their plan to gut Medicare that will make the plan not devastatingly unpopular. They even did focus group testing on it. Apparently, they didn't focus on the right group.  ...  Asked what Medicare should look like in the future, just 26 percent said it 'should be changed to a system where the government provides seniors with a fixed sum of money they could use either to purchase private health insurance or to pay the cost of remaining in the current Medicare program.'"

Past and Future Medicare

"Last spring, when House Republicans passed Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan's ambitious fiscal agenda, it would have been easy to make two basic guesses about the proposal's lasting impact: On the one hand, it seemed that the budget's focus on the immense scope of the fiscal calamity heading our way would put the deficit and debt at the center of our politics for the rest of Barack Obama's term.  But on the other hand, it looked like the Medicare proposal in the budget would be highly controversial and politically risky."

"For a time, both predictions seemed to be confirmed by events.  The Ryan budget forced President Obama essentially to retract the budget he had proposed two months earlier and replace it with a vague series of promises to address the deficit and debt.  There followed several months of budget showdowns, with Republicans setting the agenda, even if they got only a small portion of the spending cuts they sought.  Meanwhile, the Democrats were in full attack mode on Medicare, accusing Republicans of pushing old ladies off cliffs and asserting that the defense of 'Medicare as we know it' would be the centerpiece of their own election platform."

Dems Say "Hands Off Medicare"

"House Democrats want to make a clear, election-year statement: they’re not going to touch Medicare and they’re going to raise taxes on the wealthy.  Determined to set their party apart from the Republicans’ fiscal blueprint that will dominate much of the campaign season, Democrats rolled out a $3.7 trillion spending plan that they say better protects the middle class in the still-recovering economy."

Trouble Ahead for GOP?

"The GOP budget plan revealed this week by Rep. Paul Ryan may be a boon for millionaires but it is a disaster for our seniors, children, and working families.  It is also a blueprint for the Republicans' electoral defeat in 2012.  Why?  Because most Americans would strongly disagree with the Republicans that we should take Medicare away from seniors, and tell students and parents to pay more for education while extending taxpayer giveaways to millionaires, Big Oil, and corporations that ship jobs overseas."


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