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How Popular Is The Idea Of Changing Medicare To A Defined Contribution Plan?

In March 2011, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan released his “Path to Prosperity” budget plan, which included a proposal to change Medicare from a defined benefit program into one in which the government pays a specific amount towards the cost of private health insurance for each enrollee. Surveys conducted by five different polling organizations from March-April 2011 have attempted to gauge the level of public support for such a plan, and their results have varied widely, ranging from strong support for keeping Medicare as is, to a roughly even split, to a leaned preference for changing the system. Looking at the five organizations (including KFF) that have released polls on this proposed change to Medicare since the beginning of March, this data note points to several specific aspects of question wording that might be contributing to differences in the results.

Data Note (.pdf)