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Tuesday's upset in NY-26 has shown the drastic unpopularity of the Republican budget and Medicare plan, which will hopefully help save it from the chopping block in budget negotiations, provided Dems really understand and embrace the dynamics of the election. It's looking more like they do, with the Medicare traveling road show in the works.

But public opposition to the plan extends beyond just the Medicare proposal. It includes strong anger over additional tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, but also proposed cuts to Medicaid.

KFF medicaid poll
A poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation today found that 60 percent of Americans prefer to keep Medicaid as is, with the federal government setting standards and guidelines for states. Only 35 percent of those polled support the kind of changes Ryan is proposing. More than half, 53 percent, of people don’t want to see any reduction in Medicaid spending at all.

"With about 69 million people expected to be covered by Medicaid this year, it is no longer the welfare-linked program it once was," said Kaiser President and chief executive Drew Altman. "Medicaid may not be the lower-hanging fruit that many who want to reduce federal entitlement spending have assumed it is."

The polling found that "Support for maintaining the current program may be due at least in part to the public's personal connections to Medicaid and a strong sense of the program's importance.  About half of Americans say they or a friend or family member has received Medicaid assistance at some point, and a similar share say the program is important to their family."

KFF medicaid poll

It's worth noting support for the program cuts across the political spectrum: that more than half of independents (54%) want no reductions in Medicaid spending to reduce the deficit. While DC labors under the idea that somehow we're all clamoring for austerity out here in the hinterlands, we're just not that into the deficit. What most of the nation really cares is any measure of financial and social security we can continue to grasp. That includes continued access to affordable healthcare.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Somone needs to show this (17+ / 0-)

    to Dick Durbin

    We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

    by aztecraingod on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:01:42 PM PDT

  •  where is the public backlash (8+ / 0-)

    against 15% taxation of capital gains and other juicy items the rich get just by virtue of being rich?

    Haven't seen too much of it yet, except on here (and in my head).

    "Without viable unions to serve as a counterweight to corporate power, America's working people and their families are at the mercy of the largest and most powerful economic organizations on the planet."

    by billlaurelMD on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:03:11 PM PDT

  •  The "public" wants a lot of things, sans pain. (0+ / 0-)

    That ain't gonna happen, no matter who gets elected.  We're beyond the "painless benefit" stage.  We have the highest tax rates in the world, and only half the social programs.   Something's gotta give.  

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:17:06 PM PDT

  •  ya i saw on NPR (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyM, Gooserock, Quackerz, Matt Z, HeyMikey

    there was a story about "well GOP can't touch Medicare, they'll try Medicaid next"

    cause poor people don't poll in the same numbers old people do, that's why

    •  Remember how just two weeks ago... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      GOP House members were glowing about the fact that if they told constituents their proposed "reforms" wouldn't have any impact if you were 55 or older, it stopped the complaints about their plan?

      That didn't seem fly too well.  Now you have Ryan with a new YouTube ....a charts and graphs effort to explain things.  And you have GOP party folks claiming that the problem isn't the plan, it is how the message has been framed and delivered.

      Why do I get the feeling that Frank Luntz has been on vacation in outer Mongolia for the past month?  The GOP seems really uncharacteristically off its stride.  It is usually them who come up with the buzz words and bullet points of attack against Dems, putting THEM on the defensive.  Now however, the tables are reversed and instead of trying to figure out why their plan doesn't sell, they remain fixated on believing that it ain't the plan.....it's the message.

      Newt gets blown out of the water before his boat leaves the dock.  40 Republican senators find themselves forced to back the Ryan plan even after the concept helps a Democratic candidate win a special election in a normally easy-win district for Republicans.  And the GOP says the problem is our message.  And Eric Kantor says Ryan is the ideal party Presidential candidate.  Keep it up folks....we couldn't have done a better job if we tried.

      As Maria Muldaur so lovingly sang, "It ain't the meat...it's the motion!"

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:29:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even psychopaths (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        eventually get lost in the labyrinth of their own lies. I guess the GOP finally got there.

        Or is this Obama's 12-dimensional metaphysical chess finally kicking in?

        Conservatism explained: Carrots for the rich and the corporate. Sticks for the workers and the poor. It really is that simple.

        by DaveW on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:07:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pawlenty is on top of this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, HeyMikey

      He tweeted the day before yesterday:

      I also reminded them the 10th Amendment still works and I would block grant Medicaid to the states. They can do it better.

      This is good news for Herman Cain.

      How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

      by skohayes on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:37:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They will poke a hornets nest (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, tardis10, HeyMikey

      with Medicaid as well. When people realize that devastating Medicaid will cut off being able to put a family member in a nursing home unless they pay privately at a minimum of $70K annually. Even relatively well off people use Medicaid for that purpose.

  •  what does this mean? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida
    "With about 69 million people expected to be covered by Medicaid this year, it is no longer the welfare-linked program it once was,"

    If you care about your life and your money, it's BEST to vote Democratic.

    by MartyM on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:20:41 PM PDT

  •  Medicaid: Nursing Care for Middle Class Seniors (7+ / 0-)

    once the spend themselves broke on health care.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:21:28 PM PDT

  •  Sorry public... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida

    but those "job creating" billionaires need all that dough.

  •  Teh Sochalizm! It SPREADS!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover

    The Tea Party was RIGHT!!! Obama is turning us in teh Soshalizstassa aaaaaarrrrrrghghghg ngnngngngngngn!@!

  •  The GOP has declared war on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, mjd in florida, Matt Z

    the social safety net.  Congressman Rob Woodall of Georgia let the cat out of the bag a few days ago: people will have to be responsible for themselves; you'll get no help from the government.  Ryan says his plan will strengthen these social programs and preserve them for future generations, but I believe Woodall over Ryan.

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:29:41 PM PDT

    •  OK, then, let's start letting people (0+ / 0-)

      be responsible for themselves by closing down the patent, copyright and trademarks services. Privatizing courts that hear business-to-business lawsuits. Ending special treatment to capital gains and all other business deductions. Ending agribiz and oil subsidies. Stop sending the military out to defend the "rights" of US corporations and missionaries. Just for starters, of course.

      Conservatism explained: Carrots for the rich and the corporate. Sticks for the workers and the poor. It really is that simple.

      by DaveW on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:13:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  With The People's Budget (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, laurak, ferg, Matt Z

    These programs can be saved and we could have no deficit by 2021.

    But the budget makes sense which means it won't fly with this House anyway.

  •  I would have died without Medicaid (8+ / 0-)

    A few years ago I got very, very sick and did not want to further increase my debt.  As you can tell by my nametag I am a 99er.  After several attempts and with the assistance of some very kind people at a local hospital I was able to get health insurance, I was living in another state at the time we finally figured out how to use the health care program to get me insurance and it was a Medicaid program.  There were several complications preventing me from getting health insurance, but I finally got it.  

    MEDICAID SAVED MY LIFE AND CONTINUES TO KEEP ME HEALTHY.

  •  The federal government sets guidelines (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida

    for the states?

    Then why aren't they the same in all states?

    If there are "minimum standards" for eligibility, why is it so damn hard to qualify for benefits?

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:36:01 PM PDT

  •  Okay... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida

    ..so the public wants Medicare protected.

    The Republican party clearly does not want Medicare protected.

    So you know how the Beltway paradigm works:

    "We Democrats want to save and defend Medicare.  The Republicans want to destroy Medicare.  So is there a way we Democrats can met the Republicans "half-way" when it comes to destroying Medicare?  Because we Democrats do not want to appear too partisan on Medicare.  As we Democrats are aware,  the public wants a bipartisan consensus on the fate of Medicare."

    In other words, while it's admirable certain pockets of Democratic activism are going to use Medicare as a reckoning bludgeon against the idiocy of Republicans, meanwhile, Beltway Democrats will do all they can to undermine that reckoning bludgeon.

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:36:49 PM PDT

  •  Cutting Medicaid? Naw..not right now. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaveW, Matt Z

    Medicaid is the ultimate "safety net".  When all of the chips are down, there's still Medicaid.  It's where people can get minimum food, shots for their kids and other health care needs.  Now, with tens of millions of people out of work, it's not going to be long before unemployment benefits run out for an exponentially-growing number of people.  Many families have BOTH adults that have lost their jobs or one that lost their job and one that is on short time.  I'm sure I could come up with a ton of scenarios like this but the point is that in times like these (that I think are being made out to be "not so bad" by many when they're actually REAL bad and getting worse), cutting the very one program that our citizens can rely on to just maintain a minimal existance is ludicrous.

    Not right now, folks.  Not Medicaid.  It's just too important for just too many people.

    -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

    by r2did2 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:37:14 PM PDT

  •  Yeah, let's make Medicaid as big (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laurak, ferg, Matt Z, tardis10

    as issue as Medicare was in NY-26.

    Lots of voters, maybe a majority and certainly many Republicans and independents, have had a relation or friend who has benefited from Medicaid, in some way.

    And the radical Ryan/Boehner Republican budget would screw millions of those people in their time of health care need.

    It's not as clear an issue as vouchers for seniors, but competent Democratic message-makers can easily come up with horror-story ads about how wingnut GOP governors like Scott, Walker, Kasich, Corbett, Christie, Snyder, Perry, LePage, etc., would be one-white-man death panels for many poor and middle class people.

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:39:47 PM PDT

  •  60% of seniors in nursing homes... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, tardis10, HeyMikey

    ....are on Medicaid.

    The Democrats have to make that clear.

    It's not just for poor people or the handicapped.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:19:37 PM PDT

  •  nursing home (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10

    Are the Medicaid cuts to occur as soon as the budget is enacted or wait 10 years like Medicare?  If they come early, then today's seniors will definitely be affected.  My mother in law is in a nursing home paid for by Medicaid after she exhausted her personal savings and money from the sale of her home.  Without Medicaid she would have to move in with us, and we are in our 70s and unable to do the "heavy lifting."  Plus, she doesn't like me!

  •  I can't speak for mothers, of course, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    I dont agree that "we're just not that into the deficit"

    I want deficit reduction - I think it really is a big problem.   But I don't want to cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Secuity.  I also don't want to defund NPR, Plasnned Prenthood orPPACA.  And I don't want to screw the unemployed or the middle class.

    Instead, I want:
     - US coporations to pay US taxes
     - oil subsidies to go away
     - wealthy to pay their fair share
     - payroll taxes to be reinstated
     - estate taxes to go up

    And, I want
     - lower defense spending
     - war funding to be cut

    And a pony, of course.

  •  Difference between Medicare & Medicaid? (0+ / 0-)

    Many people don't know the difference. I know the difference quite well, because I'm in a line of work in which I have to explain it to people on a regular basis. But that has taught me that a large % of the general public has no idea.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri May 27, 2011 at 06:25:57 AM PDT

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