Americans Mistrustful of Government's Ability to Support Medicare, Poll Shows
Health care may rank a distant second to the economy and jobs when it comes to issues on which voters would like lawmakers and Presidential candidates to focus, but Americans generally are not confident that Congress and private insurers can keep Medicare financially sound . These are among the findings of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s June Health Tracking Poll, released today. As the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination gets underway, the poll reveals, 60% of voters are most interested in hearing about economic improvements and the job market, with healthcare ranking a distant second (26%). Interestingly, 45% of participants surveyed for the poll deem themselves willing to support minor reductions to current levels of Medicare spending, but fewer than one in five (18%) support major reductions for this purpose. The public overall is divided on a proposal to change Medicare into a system in which the government pays a fixed amount to help seniors acquire private health insurance coverage, with 45% of those polled supporting the proposal and 49% preferring the current system. Moreover, the poll indicates, many Americans – and even higher shares of seniors – remain unaware of some of the key provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that affect Medicare. For complete poll results, click here: —Julie Ritzer Ross