Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Poll Shows Most Oppose Social Security, Medicare Cuts
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 1 year ago on
April 7, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Most U.S. adults are opposed to proposals that would cut into Medicare or Social Security benefits, and a majority support raising taxes on the nation’s highest earners to keep Medicare running as is.

The new findings, revealed in a March poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, come as both safety net programs are poised to run out of enough cash to pay out full benefits within the next decade.

Few Americans would be OK with some ways politicians have suggested to shore up the programs: 79% say they oppose reducing the size of Social Security benefits and 67% are against raising monthly premiums for Medicare. About 65 million older and disabled people access government-sponsored health insurance through Medicare and rely on monthly payments from Social Security.

Instead, a majority — 58% — support the idea of increasing taxes on households making over $400,000 yearly to pay for Medicare, a plan proposed by President Joe Biden last month.

Ninety-year-old Marilyn Robinson disagrees with nearly everything the Democratic leader says, but she thinks his plan to increase taxes on wealthy Americans to pay for the health care program’s future makes sense.

She doesn’t know anyone in her rural, farming town of White Creek, New York, who makes that much money. Robinson herself, who has been on Medicare for the past 25 years, receives just $1,386 in Social Security and pension checks every month.

“I can survive on that much money,” she said. “But if you’re talking about $400,000, you’re just in another category. There’s nobody around here making money like that.”

That’s about the only change to the entitlement programs that most Americans say they would support.

One way or another, changes are in store for the programs. Last week, the annual Social Security and Medicare trustees report released Friday warned that Medicare will only have enough cash to cover 89% of payments for inpatient hospital visits and nursing home stays by 2031. Just two years later, Social Security will only be able to pay 77% of benefits to retirees.

Doubts About Stability of Programs

The poll found that many Americans have doubts about the stability of both programs: Only about 2 in 10 are very or extremely confident that the benefits from either program will be available to them when they need them, while about half have little or no confidence.

Republican and Democratic leaders have publicly promised not to cut benefits for Social Security or Medicare. Some Republicans, however, have floated the idea of raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare to keep the programs flush.

But a majority of Americans overwhelmingly reject that, too. Three-quarters of Americans say they oppose raising the eligibility age for Social Security benefits from 67 to 70, and 7 in 10 oppose raising the eligibility age for Medicare benefits from 65 to 67.

U.S. lawmakers who support raising the eligibility to keep those programs afloat may have been given a preview of the difficult road ahead in France, where the president’s proposal to increase the country’s pension retirement age from 62 to 64 has been met with violence and demonstrations by 1 million people.

Back in the U.S., 29-year-old James Evins in San Francisco says he doesn’t worry much about the future of Social Security or Medicare programs. As a middle school language arts teacher, he thinks he’ll have enough money saved in the state’s retirement program down the road.

“Couldn’t they raise more money for the fund?” asked Evins, who added that raising Medicare taxes on those making $400,000 or more is a better option. “That sucks for people who are trying to retire. To me, 65 is so late.”

Just 10 years out from his planned retirement, 55-year-old Mark Ferley of Chesapeake, Virginia, is worried about the future of the programs — and that he won’t get back the money he paid in. He supports raising the eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare to 70. Ferley, who said he leans conservative, also believes that taxes should be raised on households earning $400,000 or more to keep the social programs solvent.

While most support increasing taxes on households earning more than $400,000 a year to pay for Medicare, the poll shows a political divide on doing so: 75% of Democrats support the tax but Republicans are closely divided, with 42% in favor, 37% opposed and 20% supporting neither.

While the American public may be in agreement on solutions for the programs, Ferley worries that elected officials won’t come up with a plan to fix the program.

“Until our leadership determines that the term compromise is no longer a dirty word, I don’t have a whole lot of optimism,” he said.

His concerns are valid, said Paul Ginsburg, a professor of health policy at the University of Southern California. Most legislators are not taking dire warnings about the future of Social Security and Medicare seriously. Instead, the federal government is coming up with short-term solutions to keep the programs extended for a few more years.

“People are just going to go back to business as usual and not worry about it,” Ginsburg said Friday, after the latest trustees’ report warned of Social Security and Medicare shortfalls on the horizon. “It’s particularly problematic for Social Security. In Social Security, you have a situation where if you make changes now, they can be quite modest. If you wait until 2035, they’re going to be draconian.”

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Sued Over Alleged 2003 Sexual Assault

DON'T MISS

Petrochemical Company Fined $30M for 2019 Houston Explosions

DON'T MISS

Fresno Has Big Plans for Chukchansi Park Lot. Do They Even Own It?

DON'T MISS

Fresno State Football Welcomes Six Transfers to the Roster

DON'T MISS

California Health Sciences University Celebrates Inaugural Doctors Graduation Ceremony

DON'T MISS

The Rumble in the Valley: Old Town Clovis Motorama

DON'T MISS

Use Your Library Card for Free Admission to Millerton Lake. For a Few More Weeks, Anyway.

DON'T MISS

A Radical Lesson From El Salvador to Solve Fresno Housing & Homeless Crisis

DON'T MISS

US Open Champ Coco Gauff Urges Young Americans to Vote: ‘Use the Power That We Have’

DON'T MISS

Graceland Not for Sale, Elvis Presley’s Granddaughter Riley Keough Affirms in Lawsuit

UP NEXT

Use Your Library Card for Free Admission to Millerton Lake. For a Few More Weeks, Anyway.

UP NEXT

Biden Releases 1 Million Barrels from Northeast Reserve to Lower Gas Prices

UP NEXT

UN Security Council Rejects Russia-Backed Resolution on Banning Weapons in Space

UP NEXT

Supporters Assert Trump Shares Their Faith and Values, Making Him Their Candidate

UP NEXT

The Latest | Defense Rests Its Case Without Trump Testifying in His Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Trump’s Social Media Shares Campaign Video Touting a ‘Unified Reich’

UP NEXT

Will Becerra Run for Governor? He Tours UCSF Fresno With Costa

UP NEXT

What Drives California’s Budget Decisions? A Lot of Politics, Not as Much Data

UP NEXT

GOP Makes Noncitizen Voting a Key 2024 Campaign Issue

UP NEXT

WikiLeaks Founder Assange Wins Appeal Against US Extradition

Fresno State Football Welcomes Six Transfers to the Roster

9 hours ago

California Health Sciences University Celebrates Inaugural Doctors Graduation Ceremony

11 hours ago

The Rumble in the Valley: Old Town Clovis Motorama

11 hours ago

Use Your Library Card for Free Admission to Millerton Lake. For a Few More Weeks, Anyway.

13 hours ago

A Radical Lesson From El Salvador to Solve Fresno Housing & Homeless Crisis

13 hours ago

US Open Champ Coco Gauff Urges Young Americans to Vote: ‘Use the Power That We Have’

14 hours ago

Graceland Not for Sale, Elvis Presley’s Granddaughter Riley Keough Affirms in Lawsuit

14 hours ago

UN Halts Food Distribution in Rafah Due to Supply Shortage

14 hours ago

Ricky Stenhouse Faces Suspension for Punching Kyle Busch After All-Star Race

15 hours ago

Scarlett Johansson Says ChatGPT Voice Is ‘Eerily Similar’; OpenAI Halts Its Use

15 hours ago

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Sued Over Alleged 2003 Sexual Assault

NEW YORK — A former model accused Sean “Diddy” Combs of sexually assaulting her at his New York City recording studio in 2003 in a lawsuit f...

6 hours ago

6 hours ago

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Sued Over Alleged 2003 Sexual Assault

8 hours ago

Petrochemical Company Fined $30M for 2019 Houston Explosions

9 hours ago

Fresno Has Big Plans for Chukchansi Park Lot. Do They Even Own It?

9 hours ago

Fresno State Football Welcomes Six Transfers to the Roster

11 hours ago

California Health Sciences University Celebrates Inaugural Doctors Graduation Ceremony

Classic Chevelle Old Town Motorama 24 Clovis California
11 hours ago

The Rumble in the Valley: Old Town Clovis Motorama

13 hours ago

Use Your Library Card for Free Admission to Millerton Lake. For a Few More Weeks, Anyway.

Conversations on a Bench — Fresno
13 hours ago

A Radical Lesson From El Salvador to Solve Fresno Housing & Homeless Crisis

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend