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The top lines of the WaPo/ABC Poll show a big problem for Republicans and their plan to gut Medicare. It's hugely unpopular. The vast majority want Medicare preserved as is, along with Medicaid, with (once again) tax increases on the wealthy the heavily preferred choice for addressing debt. Asked the basic question of what should be cut, 78% oppose cutting Medicare, 69% opposed cutting Medicaid, while 72% say tax the rich.

WaPO/ABC poll
(Washington Post, April 19, 2011)

But drill down on the internals for the Medicare questions, and you find that when the Republican plan is spelled out, and respondents are told that beneficiaries would "receive a check or voucher from the government each year for a fixed amount they can use to shop for their own private health insurance policy," and that—as the CBO projects—the cost of private insurance will likely outpace the cost of Medicare, opposition to the plan soars to 84%.

WaPO/ABC poll
(Washington Post, April 19, 2011)

Explained that way, even a big chunk of the Tea Party types that the Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation poll found in support of privatizing Medicare drop out.

It would really be hard to come up with a less popular policy idea than the Republican plan for Medicare.

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