3 key states dislike GOP Medicare proposal

Aug. 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Voters in three key election states say they don't like a Republican-endorsed plan to shift Medicare to a voucher system, New York Times polls indicate.

The Medicare debate was pushed to the forefront of the presidential campaign earlier in August when presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney tapped Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. Ryan, as part of his budget plan passed by the Republican-controlled House, includes a provision to overhaul Medicare to corral its costs.

Medicare was considered the third-most crucial issue to likely voters in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin after the economy and healthcare, results of Quinnipiac University-New York Times-CBS News polls of the three swing states released Thursday indicated.

About six in 10 likely voters in each state said they want Medicare to continue as is in providing health insurance to older Americans, results indicated. Less than a third said Medicare should be changed in the future to a system in which the government gives Medicare participants vouchers to buy health insurance or Medicare insurance, as Romney proposes.

Respondents in the three states also said they view Medicare as a good value, results showed.

The polls indicated respondents trusted Obama more on Medicare than Romney.

About 10 percent of voters in each state said they would support major reductions in Medicare spending as a federal deficit-reduction move. Nearly 50 percent of voters in each state said they would support minor reductions in Medicare spending and about a third said they don't support any reductions at all.

Results are based on telephone surveys Aug. 15-21 with 1,241 likely voters in Florida, 1,253 likely voters in Ohio and 1,190 likely voters in Wisconsin. The margins of error are 3 percentage points.

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