The politics behind the Medicare debate

Updated
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (file)
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (file)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Greg Sargent over at WaPo’s Plum Line today did a good job of sifting through the political motives behind the Medicare debate, as reflected in the new National Journal poll. Indeed, it may seem odd at first that Romney and Ryan have pushed so hard on this issue when Ryan’s proposal for changing Medicare into a fixed sum (read: voucher) program garners the support of a measly 27 percent of respondents.

This is starkly contrasted with the 67 percent who support keeping Medicare as it is, and the 51 percent who would keep Medicare and Social Security as it is even at the expense of the budget deficit.

Sargent pointed out, however, that when respondents are asked whether the Affordable Care Act will help make things better for “people like you and your family,” only 43 percent said yes. This opposed to the 60 percent who believe Obamacare will make things better for the poor, and the 50 percent who believe it will be better for the country overall.

Sargent argued that Romney and Ryan ”have employed the suggestion that Obama is taking hard earned benefits away from seniors to expand health care to other people, because majorities do believe the law is all about helping the poor, and not helping them.”

He suggested by dodging the specifics of the Ryan plan, Republicans have artfully capitalized on the uncertainty that a majority of Americans still feel about Obamacare.

Affordable Care Act and Obamacare

The politics behind the Medicare debate

Updated