Poll: Ryan's Medicare plans hurting Romney in Florida
Washington Post: Voters in three critical swing states broadly oppose the sweeping changes to Medicare proposed by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and, by big margins, favor President Obama over Mitt Romney on the issue, according to new state polls by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Among seniors, the issue rivals the economy as a top voting issue, undercutting Romney’s appeal in Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Generally, the more voters focus on Medicare, the more likely they are to support the president’s bid for reelection.
A focus on Medicare as an issue also blunts potential fallout from Obama’s 2010 health-care reform law. The law remains controversial and is, according to an analysis of these new poll results, a drag on Obama’s reelection prospects. In Florida and Ohio, more voters have “strongly unfavorable” than “strongly favorable” impressions of the health law.
Sizable majorities of voters in each of these three states — as well as those across the country — say they prefer to keep Medicare as a defined benefits program, rather than moving to a system of fixed payments to seniors to buy coverage from private insurance or traditional Medicare. The “premium support” idea is one featured in the Republican budget proposed by Ryan and backed by Romney. The desire to keep the system as it is peaks at 65 percent in Florida, where more than one in five 2008 voters were age 65 and up.
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