Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular

Paul Ryan’s selection to the Republican ticket has put the issue of Medicare squarely on the 2012 campaign agenda. However, the public is more opposed than supportive of a Republican proposal to shift Medicare to a voucher system, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey.  Under the proposal, Medicare would give future participants a credit toward purchasing private health insurance coverage. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed oppose the idea. This is virtually unchanged from public reactions a little over a year ago, when Republicans in the House voted in favor of this proposal as part of the Ryan plan.

Dealing with the deficit is a high priority for Americans, but there is little support for doing so if it means entitlement cuts. Americans say that it’s more important to preserve Social Security and Medicare benefits than it is to reduce the budget deficit.

Seniors are the most opposed to changing Medicare into a program that offers credits toward purchasing private health insurance coverage. People age 65 and older oppose it by a 55% to 24% margin, with 46% saying being strongly opposed. There also is more opposition than support among people age 50 to 64 while those under age 50 are more divided. For more information, visit pew research at

Last Updated 05/25/2022

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