Medicare Cuts Need to Be Spared, Says Nation

Apr 27, 2011, 05:59 by David Hope

U.S. residents strongly oppose some of the key remedies -- such as revamping Medicare -- to reduce the country's fiscal woes, a Washington Post poll indicates.

The Washington Post-ABC News survey released Wednesday indicated those asked prefer to keep Medicare as is, and oppose cuts in Medicaid and the Pentagon budgets. More than half of poll respondents said they were against small tax increases across the board in combination with reductions in Medicare and Social Security benefits.

However, President Obama's plan to raise tax rates on the wealthiest taxpayers garnered solid support.

The Republican budget plan, drafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and passed by the House, would institute a voucher program so participants could buy Medicare coverage in the private market and change Medicaid to a once-a-year block grant program. Obama, in his plan, opposes the GOP's restructuring but said that future savings would be needed to keep Medicare afloat.

The Post-ABC poll indicated 78 percent of Americans oppose cutting spending on Medicare as a way to reduce the debt while 69 percent said they disapproved of cutting Medicaid.

Fifty-six percent indicated they opposed cuts in military spending to reduce the debt, results indicated.

Obama's call raise tax rates on taxpayers earning $250,000 or more captured support of 72 percent of respondents, the poll said. An across-the-board tax increase and minor Medicare and Social Security benefit cuts recommended by the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility was opposed by 53 percent.

Results are based on a nationwide telephone survey of 1,001 adults Thursday through Sunday. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.

Source: UPI