Ryan Medicare Vouchers Even Less Popular Than Individual Mandate

The key Medicare provision in the Paul Ryan budget recently voted for by almost every Republican in the House is profoundly unpopular with the American people, according the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

When simply asked whether they wanted Medicare to remain a defined benefits plan or see it changed into a voucher system to buy private insurance, a full 65 percent of Americans said they were opposed to this change, while only 34 percent supported it. After the poll explained that the cost of private insurance would likely rise faster than the value of the vouchers, causing seniors to pay more for insurance (as the CBO says would happen under the House Republican budget), the total opposed jumped to 84 percent.

Just how incredibly unpopular is this major provision of the Republican budget? With 84 percent opposed to it, Ryan’s Medicare voucher program has even less support among the American people than the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which the latest KFF poll found 67 percent want repealed.

I was shocked back when Democrats did something as politically stupid as actually taking a party-line vote for health care reform that still contained the mandate so deeply opposed by the American people, but this recent vote on the GOP budget has leads me to believe I’ve vastly overestimated the political savvy of almost every politician in Washington.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at