CNN Poll: Majority gives thumbs down to Ryan plan
June 1st, 2011
01:56 PM ET

CNN Poll: Majority gives thumbs down to Ryan plan

A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans don't like what they've heard so far about congressional Republicans' plans to change Medicare.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, a majority also don't think the GOP has cooperated enough with President Barack Obama and, for the first time since they won back control of the House last November, the number of Americans who say that Republican control of the chamber is good for the country has dropped below the 50 percent mark.

The poll indicates that 58 percent of the public opposes the Republican plan on Medicare, with 35 percent saying they support the proposal. The survey's Wednesday release comes as the president met with House Republicans to discuss, among other things, Medicare reform. The House Republican 2012 budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, passed the chamber in April without a single Democratic vote and included a proposal to overhaul Medicare. Under the plan, the government would no longer directly pay medical costs for those 55 and younger, but instead would offer subsidies for seniors to use to get private health insurance coverage.

"Half of those we questioned say that the country would be worse off under the GOP Medicare proposals and 56 percent think that GOP plan would be bad for the elderly," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Opposition is highest among senior citizens, at 74 percent, suggesting that seniors are most worried about changes to Medicare even if those changes are presented as ones that would not affect existing Medicare recipients."

"A majority of all demographic groups don't favor the GOP Medicare proposals," Holland adds. "That includes conservatives - 54 percent of them don't like the plan. As a result, rank-and-file Republicans are split right down the middle, with 48 percent favoring the GOP plan and 50 percent opposed."

The poll is another sign that the House Republicans' Medicare proposal could be politically damaging to the party. Last week the Democrats won a special election to fill a vacant House seat in New York's 26th congressional district, which the GOP held for over a generation. The Ryan Medicare plan became a major issue in the race, with both the Democratic and Republican candidates, the party committees and outside organizations spending millions of dollars to run ads that focused on Medicare.

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Filed under: Health Care • Politics
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Joe Moore

    Boo Hoo Hoo I want my free stuff Boo Hoo Hoo. When are people going to learn socialism doesnt work. Stop the government spending now. Stop the re distribution of wealth, I dont owe any body anything that I have or make.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • abby

      Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
      The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
      Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
      They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
      He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
      Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
      Matt: 25:35-46
      Or was He lying?

      June 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      This free stuff that you talk about, is anything but free. These just happen to be the taxes that we paid just for these purposes. Maybe you were one of the types that never had to work for a living, but a lot of us have. When we retire is when were finally able to get something back, after having paid into the system for so many years. So if your one of those that don't need it, then don't draw it. That will be one less strain on the program that benefits the rest of us.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      People pay into Medicare, just like social security. Check your paystub

      June 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shakey

      Joe – what abby doesn't get is that it's fine to help the hungry – but not by force. We shouldn't be coerced into providing for the poor. Citing the Bible is bull, because those citations provide for the atonement of those doing the giving. Abby – who is an obvious socialist and egalitarian proponent of social justice thinks that shoveling money at people will fix everything. It's the lazy man's answer to the ills of society. Way to go abby.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • dbtinc

      You cannot be serious or are you brain dead? People pay for these programs as part of the SS/Medicare tax/premium. So, all people want is what they've already paid for.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Yes Joe, you do owe others some of the money you have and make. You owe the service member, the policeman, the firemen, and a host of other government employees for helping to provide you a safe and secure environment in which to live. You also owe a retirement to many of those same people because they served your parents and grand parents and our government agreed to provide those reitrees pentions for a life of service. And you also owe some of what you have and make to current social security recipients because they paid into that system over their lifetimes as well again on the word of our government that they could receive benefits later in life. Wealth redistribution happens here and in any other country on earth. You don't like how much you have to spend here, you have the freedom to go live somewhere lese. On your way now!

      June 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Joe, you may also want to do your homework. Who doesn't socialism work for? Most Europeans live in socialistic countries and they have shorter work weeks, more vacation time each year, and better health care. Who's losing there? Oh yeah, they also still have an elite class that's filthy rich. Are they the one's that are losing?

      June 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • rashinal

      It's always amusing to hear these sorts of spouts deriding the left as "people who want free stuff".. especially coming from those who want all the things government provides but don't want to pay taxes.
      Clearly, you have no understanding of socialism or democracy. The people you call socialist are the ones who are willing to pay taxes, the ones who volunteer their time, the ones who give back to the community and want a government that supports everyone equally.
      YOU, Joe Moore and YOUR ilk are the ones who "want stuff for free". YOU don't mind having a fire department or law enforcement or highways to facilitate transport of goods that benefit everyone, YOU just want for yourself and you don't want to pay for it.
      The problem isn't how much tax we pay, the problem is how the taxes are used and who benefits.
      The GOP plan is nothing more than a thinly veiled ruse to put taxpayer money directly into the hands of insurance providers with absolutely NO benefit to taxpayers.
      The GOP (like bush and company, reagan et al ) doesn't give a crap about spending taxpayers money on taxpayers. They simply see it as an infinite pool of funds that they can feed to the wealthy corporations and individuals that keep them fat, fed and in power.

      June 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DC from NJ

    "58 percent of the public opposes the Republican plan on Medicare, with 35 percent saying they support the proposal". I wonder what percent actually understands it. The national debate needs to depend on knowledge, not opinions based on sound bites. Would someone please conduct a poll to gauge the level of public understanding of the problem?

    June 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shakey

      Don't count on CNN to do it.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob Lees

    Gotta love self described "conservatives".... gotta cut cut cut cut cut cut cut cut cut, no new taxes, cut cut cut cut, taxed enough already, cut, cut, cut.... What do you mean change medicare?.... Hands off my programs, don't cut my stuff.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Morton Redner

    Bush's tax cuts never produced the jobs they were supposed to create. That's why we're in this recession! Republicans have turned the world upside down and they refuse to set it right. It is absolutely insane to continue the Bush tax cuts. The rich must share in this current deficit crisis. Won't somebody knock some sense into these Republicans?

    June 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NonZionist

    At last! Americans are getting tired of being scammed and robbed and lied to by the Robber Barons.

    These ideologues and outright criminals use the national debt as a pretext for demolishing our government and giving more billions to their billionaire cronies. All of our wealth collects at the top, where it stagnates. We on the bottom lose the ability to buy the goods on the shelves. The collapse in demand produces a collapse in production. More people lose their jobs and demand falls even further. We end up with a race to the bottom.

    This is the economic tailspin that results when we buy into "Trickle Down Voodonomics". The con-artists who want to destroy Medicare are the same crooks who wanted to privatize Social Security. They gambled on derivatives, then used the government and the central bank to transfer hundreds of billions to AIG and the Wall Street casino. All of that money came from US! - and now the crooks want more!

    They are the same geniuses who gave us the trillion-dollar off-budget holocaust in Iraq, after letting Bin Laden escape in Afghanistan. They allowed 9/11 to happen and blocked a 9/11 investigation. Then they used 9/11 as a pretext for demolishing our rights, enriching their friends at War Corp., Inc., and killing a million or so innocent people in Iraq.

    +( We were almost all wrong )+ - ignominious admission by Bush advisor David Kay, when a year-long search failed to turn up the imaginary "Iraqi WMDs".

    We Americans vote for these losers because we are hooked on the spiritual "drugs" they peddle - Fear, Hate, Cynicism, Greed. Now, finally, we're getting clean! We're waking up!

    Google "National Debt by president". Wikipedia has a shocking chart showing debt/GDP growth:

    * Carter: -3.3%
    * Reagan: +11.3%, +9.3%
    * Bush I: +15.0%
    * Clinton: -0.7%, -9.0%
    * Bush II: +7.1%, +20.0%

    Under the R's, the debt/GDP ratio grew +11.3%, +9.3%, +15.0%, +7.1%, and+20.0%

    Under the D's, it "grew": -3.3%, -0.7%, and -9.0%.

    The Republicans CREATE the national debt problem, then USE the debt then created to frighten us and stampede us into throwing away our assets. Then they use the ensuing economic collapse to frighten us still more. Let's end this race to the bottom and begin our race to the top.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jathanon

      Well, yeah, but, that's just that stuff and ordinary people. Why don't you show how wealthy people, you know, the ones who matter, how they did under Republicans vs. Democrats.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • seamusmeboy

      Nice talking points...However, using wikipedia is not the paragon of reliability and you left off the debt under the current president. Lastly, being scared of the debt is right, it will drive all of us into a substandard living arrangement if not addressed. I get it that you dont like Republicans, but the real enemy is found in both parties, they really are not that much different from each other when it comes to spending our money.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • NonZionist

      seamusmeboy: +( I get it that you dont like Republicans, but the real enemy is found in both parties, they really are not that much different from each other when it comes to spending our money. )+

      That's what I used to think too. But the numbers tell a different story. Under the R-wing of the War and Welfare Party, the debt/GDP ratio goes UP, as much as 20% per term. Under the D-wing, it goes down, as much as 9%.

      I agree that both wings are owned and operated by plutocrats. But INDIVIDUAL politicians who care about reality and economic stability are more likely to go to the D-wing. The R-wing attracts individuals who live in an ideological fantasy world. They become intoxicated with ideology and forget to look at the bar-tab they're running up. They play with the controls and drive the car straight into the ditch.

      When I vote, I vote for the individual and I vote against the ideologues and True Believers.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CSnSC

    So the internet has explained macroeconomics to you so you MUST be telling the truth

    June 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. abby

    Of course the American people don't favor Ryan's plan. Why should they? It's a plan that will hurt the people who need the most help - the aged, the infirmed. But, hey, what does Ryan care? He's got platinum health care at taxpayers' expense.

    Who will it help? The insurance industry who will stick it to seniors with extremely high premiums that the "vouchers" will never come close to covering and the insurance industry will find ways to deny claims.

    GOP = Godless, opportunistic plutocrats

    June 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shakey

      If Ryan's plan, or something like it is not passed, your concern for the elderly and infirmed will still be realized, but it will pull everyone down with it, giving the innocent no chance of recovery. Pull your head out and stop making noises like you care about the elderly and the sick. You only care about yourself, and your insistence on living in your delusional fantasy world.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • NonZionist

      Shakey: +( If Ryan's plan, or something like it is not passed, ... )+

      If it IS passed, the Robber Barons will simply steal more billions from the Treasury, creating a whole NEW crisis requiring the theft of still more billions from the poor and middle class.

      For eight years, the R's were pushing the Fear Drug while running up the national debt like crazy - Fear of imaginary WMD's, Fear of Terrorists hiding under every bed. Now the R's are once again pushing the Fear Drug, but this time, it's fear of the debt they themselves created with great glee.

      It's time to stand up to these scam artists! Throwing money at billionaires will not solve our problem. Their greed is a bottomless pit. The sooner we stop appeasing them, the better.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ellis

    The whole entire thumb?

    June 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pips

    Ryan is already taken care of. His retirement, health care, everything his family needs is taken care of. The rest of us, not so much. We've been paying our taxes all our lives, don't you DARE try and tell us we need to sacrifice more. Look at current tax rates on businesses, the unlimited spending on "defense", there are so many things you can cut, but our retirement is not one of them!

    June 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jon


    June 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. foxglove

    What ye say GOP about these damning figures.......?????? The mess we are in was created all by the GOP......Wars & Spending. Take responsibility for your disaster and suffering you have caused.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jon

    let all apply for public assistance! its the new american way!

    June 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shakey

    Yeah – right. A CNN commissioned poll cited in a CNN article. It's insulting CNN that you think we're so stupid.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim B`

    Not only are we against it, we got a cold hard look at what the GOP has in mind for America and we say:
    "No Thanks GOP", Try and convince us that you have American citizens interest in mind by 2012.
    We almost gave you a chance last November but now see that you are the same OLD GOP out there stacking the deck so your rich top 2% will benefit at our expense.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |

    I say thumbs down on Paul Ryan's plan too since he wants to throw that money at the Pentagon for more useless research and all these useless and unnecessary wars! These Republicans never change while the Democrats agree more and more with them! It seems like the MIC(military-inndustrial-complex) is becoming more entrenched all the time as they tighten their grip on power!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
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