Most voters still have a favorable opinion of Medicare but aren’t confident that they will get all their promised benefits. However, most also aren’t willing to pay more in taxes to make sure those benefits are covered.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters hold at least a somewhat favorable opinion of Medicare while34% regard the government health insurance program for elderly Americans at least somewhat unfavorably. Those figures include 24% with a Very Favorable opinion and 10% who have a Very Unfavorable opinion of it. These findings are little changed from June. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
But just 33% of voters are even somewhat confident that the Medicare system will pay them all their promised retirement benefits during their lifetime. That includes only 10% who are Very Confident. Sixty-three percent (63%) do not share that confidence, including 28% who are Not At All Confident that they will get their full benefits. Voters are only slightly more confident that they’ll receive their full Social Security benefits in their lifetime.
Perhaps that helps explain why just a plurality (47%) thinks Medicare is a good deal for working Americans today. Thirty percent (30%) say it’s not a good deal, while 23% more are not sure.
Still, only 29% of voters favor raising taxes to make sure Medicare has enough money to pay all promised benefits. Thirty-eight percent (38%) think it’s a better idea to raise the eligibility age for future generations (65 is now the age when most Americans are eligible). Just 12% support cutting the promised level of benefits to make sure the Medicare system remains solvent. Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure which course is the one to follow. This is in line with what voters proposed for both Social Security and Medicare earlier this year.
When it comes to health care issues, voters are evenly divided as to whether they trust Republicans or Democrats more. Prior to Election 2008, Democrats had a huge edge on this issue. After passage of the president’s Health Care law, the GOP gained a huge advantage that helped them in Election 2010. After Republican Congressman Paul Ryan introduced his Medicare reform plan, the GOP lost its advantage on the issue.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 5-6, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.