Pew Poll: Maintaining Benefits Outweighs Cutting Deficit

Friday, 08 Jul 2011 09:59 AM

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The American public favors major changes in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid but doesn’t support cuts in benefits. When asked whether it was more important to reduce the deficit or maintain Social Security and Medicare benefits, 60 percent chose maintaining benefits, a Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll found.

The June 15-19 survey of 1,502 adults found that support for maintaining benefits spread across party lines. Republicans favored maintaining benefits by 50 percent, independents by 53 percent, and Democrats by 72 percent.

The survey also found that Americans oppose making Medicare recipients pay more of their health costs and allowing states to limit Medicaid eligibility. Some 61 percent say those on Medicare already pay enough and just 37 percent want to allow states to cut back on who can receive Medicaid.

The survey also found an economic split in GOP ranks on remaking the entitlement programs. Among GOP members and GOP-leaning independents, 63 percent with family incomes of $75,000 or more say it is more important to take steps to reduce the budget deficit.

However, 62 percent of Republicans with incomes of $30,000 or less say it is more important to maintain Social Security and Medicare benefits.




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