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Enough discussion around Paul Ryan and his plan to voucherize Medicare has filtered through to make the American voting public distrust it and have a negative reaction. But when voters are told precisely what's in the plan, they really, really hate it.

Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 8/16-19. Registered voters. MoE ±3.1% (no trendlines):

Q: Do you support or oppose Paul Ryan's proposal for reforming Medicare?

Support 36%
Oppose 45%
Not sure 18%

Q: Do you believe traditional Medicare insurance for seniors should be replaced with vouchers to allow the elderly to buy private insurance if they want health care coverage, or not?

Traditional Medicare insurance for seniors should be replaced with vouchers 19%
It should not 63%
Not sure 18%

Among self-identified moderates, 60 percent say they oppose Paul Ryan's proposal, but a whopping 72 percent are opposed to a voucherized plan. In a sadly amusing twist, conservatives support the proposal when it's called the Paul Ryan proposal by 61 percent, but only 28 percent support the actual proposal, that Medicare should be replaced by vouchers. A plurality—44 percent—don't like the idea of vouchers at all, somehow magically erasing Paul Ryan's name from it in their heads.

Strong opposition is the reaction voters, particularly seniors, had when the original Ryan Medicare plan was introduced in 2011—62 percent of seniors said they wanted Paul Ryan's hands off their Medicare. That's why Ryan tried to repackage the plan as "premium support" and decided that it wouldn't apply to current old people, just future old people. But the core of the program is still vouchers that won't keep up with the cost of health care, and seniors that will have to pay more and more out of their pockets.

Medicare works. People like it. Proposing a change this drastic is clearly a major problem for Romney/Ryan, provided they are sufficiently pegged with this plan. It's clear what the Obama campaign and congressional Democrats need to do: relentlessly hammer the message that the Ryan/Romney plan is vouchers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Vouchers are Vouchers like Rape is Rape (18+ / 0-)

    Repackaging vouchers as "Premium Support" isn't going to work either.

    "Legitimate" Vouchers are like "Legitimate Rape."

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Mittens, Paul Ryan, Scotty Walker, Limbaugh, pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    by Eman on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:33:28 AM PDT

  •  When you crunch the numbers (7+ / 0-)

    The average Social Security payment is about $1230/month.

    The average out-of-pocket cost to seniors who get a Ryan coupon is $530/month for premiums, based on CBO calculations.

    People who are on Social Security and Medicare now will see what the future holds for their children and grandchildren if this is passed.

    •  People love single payer once they have it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, Kinak, supercereal

      Medicare and the VA are very popular w/ their recipients.   Conservative would never consider messing w/ single payer in Canada.  The failure of a nominally representative system to give citizens something so popular on this essential need is a visible indictment of that system.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:20:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Always distrust voucher schemes, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, Kinak

      because invariably vouchers are worth a tiny share of the wealth the powers-that-be are extracting from you.

      Remember the role of vouchers in Boris Yeltsin's "Shock Therapy," which cheated Russian citizens of billions and created a new industrial/banking oligarchy?

      Republicans would love to pull off the same robbery here.

  •  And yet... (9+ / 0-)

    How many nimrods will vote for this ticket despite being opposed to these and so many other policies that they've explicited endorsed and embraced because, well, they seem like nice, decent, thoughtful people, have some good ideas about fixing the economy, and Obama's been a big disappointment?

    How long will this profound disconnect among way too many non-crazy voters go on, between what they know, and what they do? How long will so many voters continue to vote for whoever had the more appealing PR campaign, or they could more readily identify with, than for whoever they believed was more fit for the job and had the better policy ideas? What's wrong with these people?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:40:45 AM PDT

    •  Give the other guys a chance. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wblynch, kovie

      If things didn't go the way I wanted it, it's time to give the other guys a chance.  That's the attitude that has brought our democracy to the point where one party is denying the vote to the other, where one party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Oligarchs, and where one party knows that all they have to do is wait and they'll get a turn no matter what they stand for.

    •  What's wrong with these people? (0+ / 0-)

      I'll tell you what's wrong.

      They have not read Paul Ryans plan. Period.

      They'll vote for the s.o.b on name only and the mere fact that he is a republican.

      Can you say low information voter?

      Stupid people making life altering decisions by snake oil salesman.

      Still it does beg the question. What's wrong with these people?

      "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Brandeis

      by wxorknot on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:33:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not "low information", it's misinformation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        True North, wxorknot

        The phrase "low information voter" suggests that they aren't paying attention, but many of them closely follow what they believe to be the news.  The problem is that they're following propaganda, and they're too gullible to realize it.  They are "misinformed voters".

        This isn't just semantics, it makes a difference in how we reach these voters.  A low info voter just needs to be informed, while a misinformed voter is nearly impossible to reach, because Fox News/Limbaugh have already inoculated that person against the truth.  They have dehumanized liberals and progressives, so these misinformed voters attribute all sorts of malicious intent to anything we say.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:52:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right. (0+ / 0-)

          It is misinformation on their part.

          Had that one pegged incorrectly. Thanks for the correction.

          So what we have is the misinformed voter and the low info voter together that make up a majority of the republican electorate.

          "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Brandeis

          by wxorknot on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 11:44:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You got that right that why we need (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You got that right that why we need a TV ad patterned around the Harold and Maude breakfast table where

        Maude says to Harold: "Hey look, we just got our new Ryan/Romney health care coupon."

        Harold: "What does it say?"

        Maude: "It says we can redeem this coupon for health care services if we just give up our guaranteed Medicare benefits".

        Harold: "Sounds great, but can you read the fine print".

        Maude: "Well its a little vague, but it says that over time this voucher will become worthless and will force us to pay up to $6,500 per year more in 4 years than we do now and it eliminates guaranteed Medicare benefits for our children and for those over 55 by raising the eligibility requirements from 65 to 67 or higher depending on the whims of politicians, and it restructures Medicare funding so that the program will become insolvent and unable to pay for senior care by reducing the pool of those who pay into the program."

        Harold:  "Hmmm.  Maybe we should return the coupon as using it would be bad for our health".

  •  It's "The Medicare" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, Janie14, EcosseNJ, DidiGogo, True North

    In the end all people vote their pocket book.  If you're not a senior you have direct family who are.  Or you're 10 years out.  Or you have a preexisting condition or family with one...  Romney/Ryan will cost everyone but the rich big time!

    What gets to me is how for the most part the media have given RR a free pass.  This needs to be jumped on by the Obama campaign now, before the RR coronation.

    •  The campaign is jumping on it- (3+ / 0-)

      problem is the media is clinging to their "he said, she said" narrative and ignoring independent analysis like the CBO report.  Economists- even conservative economists- are generally scornful of Ryan's plan but you won't hear that on cable or network media.

      This is purely anecdotal, but I do find it interesting that my son-in-law, with a very successful career in finance, tells me that even the lifelong Republican finance guys he knows are disgusted that Ryan is presented as some kinda economic guru, when in fact he is a moron who does not even understand math, let alone economics.

      •  "he said, she said" narrative (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gramofsam1, True North

        It's getting real old - maybe it's why CNN's ratings are in the toilet.

        I have an anecdote too - a friend, a so called Libertarian, a successful lawyer, got all stressed when I described our plight if the RR Medicare plan was put into effect as my wife has cancer and is kept alive on $10k of medication a month and we are on quasi-fixed incomes.  His solution was "never discuss politics."  So, I agreed.  That night at dinner someone was talking about health insurance for their employees.  My friend volunteered that offer full coverage with zero deductibles.  I stated that was very admirable.  He then went off on "Obama Care."  I bet him $100 he didn't even know what it was.  He shut up because he doesn't!  The rest of the night he talked about something he does know, sports.

  •  Horserace (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, mdmslle, pollbuster

    Is a little better in this poll... Obama 49 Romney 45.  

    There is a horrific Florida poll out from an outfit called Foster McCollum (which I confess I am not savvy enough to have heard of) that has Romney up by about 15.  I almost had a heart attack but then remembered Nate Silver. He debunked pretty thoroughly.

  •  Florida, Florida, Florida this year (7+ / 0-)

    needs to be blanketed with Voucher, Voucher, Voucher ads.

  •  Premium Support = Windfall for Insurance Company (6+ / 0-)

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:46:51 AM PDT

    •  Seniors cost goes up-insurance co profits go up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the 1% get a taxcut and the deficit increases. What's not to like about the Ryan plan. Makes perfect sense- NOT!!!!

      How can they sell this drivel.
      It boggles the mind that so many are so caught up in the partisanship, they will vote against themselves.

      Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

      by Sherri in TX on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:12:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Federally guaranteed profits (0+ / 0-)

      ACA does the same.  

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:55:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  19% favor vouchers? (12+ / 0-)

    I'm willing to bet that almost all of that 19% supported Bush/Cheney to the bitter end.

    That ~20% figure comes up a lot.

  •  The only way RR can win Florida is through huge (10+ / 0-)

    SuperPac ad lies.  And they will use that tactic.  Donate to Obama.

  •  Ryan/Akins THE END of the GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:54:12 AM PDT

  •  The key word is 'relentlessly' -- clearly a lot of (5+ / 0-)

    people do not understand this initiative. They do not know the rate at which health care costs are rising and the evil intend of the plan: to let Medicare die a slow death.

    My employer provided a dental coverage plan like that. we were on a 1970ish rate schedule in the 1990s. The share that was covered was utterly laughable to the point where I paid for my coverage and often forgot or did not bother to submit for payment of their share (until my dentist started doing it for the balance out of kindness). It needs to be laid out clearly to 50 year olds that when they are 80 they will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer treatment or heart surgery and the proceeds from their house will not go to their children but to their doctor (and their surviving partner may end up on the street).

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:55:46 AM PDT

    •  Honestly - the point is: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      global citizen, True North

      That since it will cost 100's of thousand - middle class people will naturally mortgage their houses to the hilt to pay for life and death situations, causing the next housing crash that the same banksters will profit from.  They are robbing the treasury.

      •  There's always the "Reverse Mortgage" (0+ / 0-)

        which is where you pay for your house and the bank takes it when you die.

        "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

        by irmaly on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:44:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

          and after the reverse Mortgages run out as people die (probably a 3 to 7 year lag) the housing market tanks permanently.  Reverse mortgages as that certainty approached would cost a fortune and provide very little equity for only a very short period of time.

  •  Hey Obama, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, smartone, Tuffie

    you might want to fucking utter the words Republican Medicare Vouchers about a million fucking times between now and November.


    by GOPGO2H3LL on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:57:44 AM PDT

    •  another thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      every democrat should say
      if Ryan plan is so good why do they want to implement it 10 years from now? why not tomorrow?

      "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill

      by smartone on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:05:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a fucking bunch of idiots! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom, zed, ItsSimpleSimon, wxorknot
    In a sadly amusing twist, conservatives support the proposal when it's called the Paul Ryan proposal by 61 percent, but only 28 percent support the actual proposal, that Medicare should be replaced by vouchers.
    God fucking shit are they stupid! Jeezus.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:02:18 AM PDT

  •  Vouchers are hated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And so is ACA which is also "vouchers".

    Win the fight. extend Medicare to all.

  •  no increases unless you're younger than 55? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    I find this appalling. It says to senior citizens, "Don't worry, you'll get yours. And don't worry about your children and grandchildren." Are we to assume that older people only care about themselves, and not those who will come after them? Who is this appealing to?

    •  They will care (0+ / 0-)

      I am convinced that the vast majority of seniors on Medicare now do indeed care very much about what happens to their children and grandchildren.

      They know how Medicare works and why it is better than a coupon for $8,000 off on $15,000 worth of private insurance.

      I think they'll also be able to see what the implications will be for their children, who may well be impoverished if their health is poor—and uninsured if their health is so poor that no insurance company will insure them at any price.

      I imagine that, in years to come, many of those children will end up living with the grandchildren, because they can't afford the out-of-pocket payments for premiums and rent and groceries.

  •  To Team Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    and DNC and Priorities USA.I've contacted you all and I'll suggest strongly one more time.Have BETTY WHITE star in a medicare ad and flood the swing states,esp. FLORIDA FLORIDA FLORIDA. If anyone agrees with me,may I suggest that you contact the above also.

    We could certainly slow down the aging process if it had to work its way through Congress. Will Rogers

    by zestyann on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:08:55 AM PDT

    •  Excellent Idea (0+ / 0-)

      Just put her in the Maude role along the lines I suggest above.  Because of the previous history of this ad "genre" and its tremendous impact during the Clinton years on the health care debate, it would receive wide coverage in the media.  

      It obviously needs to be more polished and dramatic that I outlined above, but definitely will hit home to the target audience, just as the health insurance company scare ad did in the past.

  •  Run ads with Ryan describing his plan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think the most effective ad would be to just run 30 seconds of Ryan saying he wants to switch to vouchers. I'm sure there is plenty of video out there to pick from.

    No scary voice "telling" people what the plan does, just Ryan saying it, that's it. Followed by, this ad was paid for by..... DNC, Obama etc...

    And run it nationally, not just in "targeted" states.

  •  villains (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Forest Deva

    When schools supposedly fail, teachers are blamed.  When health care is supposedly overpriced, why aren't doctors, hospitals, and drug companies  villainized?

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:14:12 AM PDT

  •  Keep yout Mitt-s off my Medicare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lyin Ryan and Mitthead Romney.

    Recommended by:

    Pardon me for shouting -- but finally we have some solid polling on this, not just our own making of 'toast'.

    Not a single mention by any Democrat anywhere should fail to include this!

  •  This is exactly like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the polling earlier this year and last about "Obamacare."

    When asked whether they supported the ACA, most people parroted their indoctrination and said no.

    When then asked about their support for specific provisions in the ACA, without mentioning the Act or "Obamacare," a far larger majority supported each provision.

    Another example of the success of the Republican lies, and the failure of either the Democrats or the so-called journalists in this country to counter them.

    Again and again and again . . . we keep reliving history.  What does that tell us?

    In Washington, whenever anyone does something wrong, everyone else gets punished.

    by Noziglia on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:22:19 AM PDT

  •  And how about the Obama-Romney numbers up top? (0+ / 0-)

    This is terrific but quit burying the lead!!!

  •  Ignorance is bliss. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Mitt Romney is the Leader of the GOP... (0+ / 0-)

    that little fact just occurred to me.  holy cow -- That's kind of sweet.

    How long before he lays off Scott Walker and Rick Scott and Rick Snyder and sells the Midwest to the Chinese?

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:34:29 AM PDT

  •  Getting to the point! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The above poll shows how uninformed the populace is about various "programs".  They either don't know about large policy packages or simply have a vague, general feeling about it.  So while the big picture (e.g, social darwinism) can be talked about it absolutely has to be closely tied with the specific policies.  Eventually, the term along can be a sufficient weapon on its own (like the demonization of the term "liberal") but it won't start out that way.

    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
    Give 'em hell, Barry—Me

    by KingBolete on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:39:41 AM PDT

  •  Once upon a time in America (0+ / 0-)

    the Republicans were against Social Security and Medicare. Their goal was to abolish them. Then a light bulb went off in their heads and they suddenly realized that vast amounts of money could be at their disposal. Their dilemma then became how to allow their cohorts in  banking and finance to get their greedy little Mitts on the vast sums of money yet continue to espouse abolition of both as fiscally responsible and as shrinking government. The net result - privatizing Social Security and voucherizing Medicare.

    On a side note, heard on the radio I heard Aetna was buying another health insurance company the net result of which will be Aetna obtaining one-third of its revenue from government programs. Imagine cutting out Aetna's profits.  

    If you don't want to be kept in the dark and lathered with horse dung, stop acting like a mushroom.

    by nomorerepukes on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:52:05 AM PDT

  •  Just wondering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    The GOPers talk about Medicare as an "entitlement" but it really is a national health insurance program.  I pay a premium every month for that insurance.  

    I'm not very good at looking things up on the innertoobs but I'm wondering about the dollar figures that keep showing up in the media and the GOP press releases and talking points.  

    How much money does the government collect from us Old Folks in premiums vs. how much does the government pay out for our health care?  Is there really a significant  difference between the two?  Right now, this year?

    Or is the disparity just going to show up somewhere in the future, near or far, and that's what the discussion is supposed to be about?  

    And if the GOP solution is vouchers, what is the Democrat's solution?

    Just wondering.

    "The diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty." James Madison

    by mslat27 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:57:42 AM PDT

    •  Some thoughts about solutions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Ryan coupon isn't a solution: it's a brief stopover on the way to cutting all funding for health care for seniors. It's not much of a solution for the individual—just a coupon for half off on private health insurance premiums. (If you can get insurance despite your pre-existing conditions.)

      One of the ways that Obamacare is meant to reduce expenditures on Medicare is by reducing the number of uninsured people under 65.

      A person who has not been able to get adequate health care for years before reaching 65 enters Medicare much sicker, and  costs much more to care for.

      For example, a diabetic who hasn't had good health care might arrive at Medicare's door already needing dialysis, which costs the system something like $50,000/yr—as compared to just under $8,000 for the average person.

      Look up the list of free preventative health care measures of insurers under Obamacare. Most of these will make it easier to catch conditions earlier rather than later.

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        True North

        It is, of course, better and more cost effective to have more people covered by health insurance for most of their lives before they reach 65.  

        "The diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty." James Madison

        by mslat27 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 10:44:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This leads me to the following conclusion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There are a large chunk of people who don't actually know what the Ryan plan is.  We need to make it our goal to educate people.  

    Check out my new blog:

    by SoCalLiberal on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:06:50 AM PDT

  •  The 4 point Obama lead should be double that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Demographics have male/female at 50 each, should be be 53/47 female, while democrats and republicans are weighted at 35 each, should be at least +4 for dems.  All in all the demographics are overwhelmingly good for the republicans. And, I should add, there is no way that Obama is leading by only 55 42 with Hispanics.

    The definition of INSANITY: Voting Republican over and over and over and expecting the economy to get better.

    by pollbuster on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:09:12 AM PDT

    •  Agree with pollbuster (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kinak, pollbuster

      The demographics do favor the republicans. I am in South Florida (Palm Beach County) and Obama is getting hit very hard on the tv ad front right now but I will also say that the majority of senior's are uninformed. I went to vote on Aug. 14th in our primary and spent alot of time talking to the senior's in my area. It was depressing.

  •  That poll says it all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    meatballs, rennert

    It illustrates the utter failure of our media.  It shows the gullibility of the average American.  Perfect.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:44:49 AM PDT

  •  Seems as if (0+ / 0-)

    What we need are a few dozen good, targeted contests to design the new Ryan/Romney vouchers, with leading candidates that look a lot like coupons you get at the store, with instructions and print that make it clear that they are worth less and less with the passage of time.

    Sort of help prime the electorate as to what to expect when the Romney/Ryan plan is ready to be implemented.

  •  "vouchers to buy private insurance" sounds like (0+ / 0-)


  •  Vouchers = Death Coupons (0+ / 0-)

    Since Tea Partiers talked about Ombamacare as creating "Death Panels", maybe we should be talking about Republicaid Medicare Vouchers as "Death Coupons". The Republicans plan to change Medicare into a system of share of cost certificates (vouchers). Seniors who won't have enough cash to make up the difference between the value of the voucher and the insurance premium "asks" will be left without medical coverage...and their unused voucher. Maybe unused vouchers can go towards credit for a senior's funeral.  A "death coupon".

  •  Teh Stoopid it hurts!! (0+ / 0-)


    This is numerical proof that self-described conservatives are really fucking dumb.

    How can so many people be so fucking stupid?!?

    It's beyond comprehension.

    Are there no prisons? No workhouses?

    by meatballs on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 10:48:24 AM PDT

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