Questions - Medicare and Social Security - June 21, 2011
65% Believe Americans Should Have Right to Pick Own Social Security Retirement Age
63% Say Medicare Costs Can Be Reduced Without Hurting Quality of Care
30% Favor Tax Hikes To Keep Social Security, Medicare Solvent
65% Say Current Taxes Not Enough to Fund Medicare, Social Security Promises
One-in-Three Voters View Social Security, Medicare Unfavorably
51% Now Recognize Most Federal Spending Goes to Defense, Medicare and Social Security
National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted June 21, 2011
By Rasmussen Reports
1* Is the following statement true or false? Most federal spending is spent on only three programs—Social Security, Medicare and national defense?
2* Suppose Congress wants to change Medicare or Social Security. Should any proposed change be submitted to a vote of the American people before it can become law?
3* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Social Security?
4* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Medicare?
5* Is it possible to reduce the cost of Medicare without hurting the quality of health care for senior citizens?
6* Is it possible to reduce the cost of Medicare by changing
Medicare or is it necessary to reduce the overall cost of health care services
7* Are Social Security and Medicare Taxes paid into Trust Funds that are supposed to be used only for paying Social Security and Medicare benefits?
8* How important is it to make sure that the Trust Funds collect enough in taxes to pay for all promised Social Security and Medicare benefits?
9* Is the current level of taxes paid into the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds enough to fund all the benefits promised for today’s workers?
10* To make sure that Social Security and Medicare Trust funds have enough money to pay all promised benefits, would you favor raising taxes, raising the retirement age for future generations, or cutting the promised level of benefits?
11* Does the government pay some Medicare benefits out of the general operating budget or does all the money come from a Medicare Trust Fund?
12* Which would provide more security for retirees: Making sure the Social Security Trust Funds are protected and adequately funded, or getting rid of the Trust Funds and having the federal government pay all promised benefits out of the annual operating budget?
13* A proposal has been made that would let people select their own Social Security and Medicare retirement age. Those who wanted to retire earlier would pay more in taxes and those who wanted to pay less in taxes would retire later. So long as they are paying enough to cover the cost of their own decision, should people have the right to pick their own Social Security and Medicare retirement age?
14* (Answered only by those under 65 years old) If you had a choice would you be most likely to pay more in taxes and begin collecting retirement benefits earlier or would you be most likely to pay less in taxes now and begin collecting benefits later?
15* (Answered by those under 65 years old who said they would pay less in taxes and collect benefits later) Would you be more likely to set aside the tax savings in a private retirement account or would you be more likely to spend the money on current expenses?
16* (Answered by only those under 40 years old) Under current law, you are eligible to begin collecting Social Security retirement benefits at age 67. How likely is it that you will receive all promised benefits?
17* (Answered by only those under 40 years old) Suppose you had a chance to immediately stop paying all Social Security taxes for the rest of your life. Your employer would continue to make payments to the Trust Fund on your behalf and you would not receive any Social Security benefits until age 75. Would you rather stop paying Social Security taxes now and begin collecting benefits at age 75 or continue paying Social Security taxes and begin collecting benefits at age 67?
18* Is it possible to continue Medicare as it is today without raising taxes?
19* Is it possible to continue Social Security as it is today without raising taxes?
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence