MEDICARE: Premium Support Opposed by a Plurality
Nearly half of all American adults would oppose a premium-support system for Medicare, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Asked if they would support a proposal to "change the Medicare system from the current system of paying medical bills according to a schedule of covered medical items, and instead giving patients a fixed amount of money each year to buy health insurance," 48% of adults said no, while 35% said yes and 17% were not sure. When asked to assess the financial situation of Medicare, only 6% called it "basically secure and solid," with 32% saying it "faces minor hurdles," 39% saying it "faces major troubles" and 17% calling its predicament a "crisis." When asked how important it is "to reform the Medicare program to ensure that it will provide benefits for future generations of retirees," a whopping 81% said "vitally important" or "extremely important," with only 3% saying it is "not that important" or "not important at all." The Democratic Party maintains its strong lead of late on the question of who the public trusts more to deal with Medicare. Thirty-seven percent said they trusted the Democrats to tackle the issue, while 20% said they trusted the Republicans, 24% said both about the same and 13% said neither. The poll of 1,006 adults was conducted April 17-19 by Hart/Teeter. It has a margin of error of +/-3.2% (release, 4/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.