If Republicans can explain the party position on Medicare well, the GOP has a good chance to win the argument. That’s the focus of my piece today, which looks at how one Republican congressional candidate succeeded in getting voters to trust him more on Medicare than his Democratic opponent, after running ads that highlighted the cuts to Medicare in Obama and emphasized his commitment to keeping the program sustainable.
But NRCC polling is also showing that Republicans can win in Medicare. Polling voters in 28 targeted districts, they presented them with the Republican and Democrat arguments on Medicare:
Republicans say this is a good plan because it makes no changes to Medicare for people fifty-five years or older and preserves Medicare for future generations. They say Democrats would raid the Medicare trust fund to pay for Obamacare, let Medicare go bankrupt and give government bureaucrats the power to ration health care for seniors
Democrats say the plan is a bad idea, because it would end Medicare as we know it and replace it with a voucher system that will force seniors to negotiate with insurance companies, which could raise rates and deny coverage. They say Medicare’s guaranteed coverage would end, leaving seniors to pay more and more money out of pocket.
The results were ultimately that 46 percent of voters saw the Republican plan as closer to their own policy views, while 36 percent saw the Democratic plan that way. In other words, if candidates are careful about how they talk about Medicare, Republicans can successfully win this issue.