The Future Of Medicare: 43% Say It Can Survive Without Benefit Cuts

August 22, 2012, 2:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 8/18/2012) Many Americans resist the possibility that Medicare cuts might become necessary: 43% in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll believe Medicare can provide for future generations without cutting benefits; 29% say it cannot.

Confidence in the Medicare system is especially high among current recipients. Nearly six in ten of those 65 and older say the system can survive without cuts. In contrast, those under 30 are more skeptical: by 40% to 23% they disagree.

More than four in ten Americans haven’t heard of Wisconsin Representative (and GOP Vice-Presidential nominee-designate) Paul Ryan’s proposal to revamp the Medicare system. But most of those who have heard of his ideas know that they involve changing Medicare into a program that gives vouchers to seniors for the purchase of health care coverage. Those over 65, who are currently eligible for Medicare, are much more likely to have heard of the Ryan proposal.

Those aware of the Ryan proposal don’t like it. By 51% to 39%, they oppose it. And seniors, who tend to be more Republicans than other age groups, are just as negative. They oppose the plan 54% to 40%.