Pew Research released their results today from polling last week on a number of issues, one of which is the (un)popularity of “A proposal to change Medicare into a program that would give future participants a credit towards purchasing private health insurance coverage” (aka, Mitt Romney’s proposal for Medicare):
Last week I noted a Kaiser/Washington Post poll on the same question earlier in the month. The Pew version is a little different in that they specifically asked A) during the Paul Ryan as VP week and B) how much they had ‘heard’ about the program. Well, from their responses Pew found that 72 percent had ‘heard a lot’ or ‘a little’ about the program, and in either case nearly half oppose the idea. So there’s that, I suppose.
Here’s how it breaks down along age groups:
So, 18-49 year olds don’t like it? Check. 50-64? Check. 65? Double-check, as this is the only age group whose opposition breaks the halfway mark (and of which 46 percent “strongly oppose”). Now proponents of Romney’s premium support proposal would very much like to point out that no-one over the age of 55 would be ‘affected’ by the changes that are supposed to ‘strengthen’ Medicare. Fair enough. Future polls from Pew and others should include that information in their question, or at the very least in followup questions.
I’m sure someone will get to it, but the age-exclusion shouldn’t preclude the possibility that seniors still won’t like the idea. Perhaps they can imagine a future where 50 year old sons or daughters will need more help they did, thus putting more of the burden on grandsons and granddaughters for health care needs. I generally disapprove of the political assumption that seniors, when confronted with “Don’t worry, you won’t get the raw deal,” will breath a sigh of Ayn Rand-like rationalized relief. It also seems disingenuous to expect non-altruistic motivations from the same crowd that is constantly told to “think of the children” when it comes to the national debt.