Republicans Can’t Run from Vote to End Medicare

Americans have rejected the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it:

…polls have shown formidable public disapproval of [the plan]. Many Republican lawmakers ran into a wall of voter opposition during a congressional spring recess…[Los Angeles Times, 5/8]

According to a recent study, a 54-year-old today will have to save an additional $182,000 in his or her retirement account, or $250 a week, just to pay the cost of the GOP plan to eliminate Medicare.

GOP Members are embracing their vote to turn Medicare into a voucher system – the Los Angeles Times:

“We’re telling leadership, ‘No, we have to be serious about this,’” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a Republican from Kansas who bucked GOP leaders and voted against the 2011 spending bill. “I think there is considerable expectation that this is a bigger decision than the budget. The debt ceiling poses a bigger opportunity; this is an opportunity to put our mark on federal spending.”

Huelskamp said leaders assured members in a closed-door meeting that they were not backing off the Medicare plan. But he said he had become more skeptical of such assurances since last month, when leaders’ estimates on the effect of spending cuts came into question.

Boehner last week scrambled to present a unified front on Medicare, but even in a rare joint statement with six other GOP leaders, only a vague endorsement of the plan was offered…

But even GOP pollsters say that Republicans can’t run away their vote to end Medicare in order to reward Big Oil with tax breaks – CQ:

Two leading public opinion analysts said Friday that a House Republican retreat on Rep. Paul D. Ryan’s Medicare overhaul plan won’t keep the issue from having a lasting impact on the thinking of voters.

GOP pollster Bill McInturff said in an interview that he wasn’t changing his assessment offered earlier in the week that the Wisconsin Republican’s Medicare plan will overshadow the health overhaul law as an issue in the 2012 elections, or his view that it “puts the Democrats back on offense”…

…the plan is polling poorly. Both Ryan and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., said this week that the voucher proposal would not be adopted in legislation to raise the debt ceiling. Many observers now predict that Republicans will stop promoting the plan…

Harvard pollster Robert Blendon said in an interview that polling on the Ryan overhaul has been “incredible” — with an overwhelmingly negative public response, including among seniors…

…Blendon says, Ryan’s strategy of trying to head off a senior backlash by exempting them from the plan appears to have flopped. “They just totally turned around and gave the health issue back to the Democrats,” Blendon said of House Republican leaders.

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