Huffpost Politics

Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan Still Deeply Unpopular

Posted: Updated:

A number of top Democratic strategists have wondered why, exactly, the Obama campaign let Mitt Romney launch the first attacks on Obama's handling of Medicare, rather than the other way around.

Among the explanations offered is the theory that the president's campaign wants to preserve its cash (which has been dwindling), that it is waiting until after the conventions to make this a major issue, and that it thinks the public so distrusts the GOP on the topic that it doesn't mind having the conversation center there, even if the Obama campaign is on the defensive.

That later point was bolstered in a Pew Research Center poll released on Tuesday, which showed that the public opposes the idea of changing "Medicare into a program that would give future participants a credit toward purchasing private health insurance coverage" by a margin of 49 percent to 34 percent. Moreover, 72 percent of respondents have heard a lot or a little about the idea, while just 29 percent say they heard nothing.

The margin between those opposing changing Medicare and those supporting a change is even greater among the elderly, with 55 percent of people 65 or older opposing the proposal and 24 percent supporting it. That is a large part of the reason that Romney and Ryan have pledged not to apply the changes to anyone 55 or older.

And yet, not all news is good news for the president on this front. While the public largely doesn't like a quasi-voucher system for Medicare, it also isn't entirely sure which politician has proposed it. As Pew notes:

At this point, most Americans do not associate Ryan with the proposal to change Medicare. Just 23% of those who have heard about the idea of shifting Medicare to a system of credits to buy private insurance identify it as Ryan’s. Nearly as many (17%) say Barack Obama proposed this, while 44% do not know who proposed it.

This post has been updated to clarify the Obama campaign's response to Romney's attacks.

Also on The Huffington Post

Romney-Ryan 2012 Soundtrack
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

It Isn't Just Medicare: Don't Forget Paul Ryan's Vision for Medicaid

Ryan puts 'rationing board' in the crosshairs

Ryan's Medicare Misconceptions

Ryan: I'm Happy to Cling to Guns, Religion

Stop Calling Paul Ryan a Randian

Can Paul Ryan educate voters about Medicare reform?

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote