Short Takes On News & Events

Romney Narrows Gap With Obama On Voters’ Trust To Manage Medicare

By Phil Galewitz

October 31st, 2012, 12:15 AM

As the race for the White House has tightened, President Barack Obama has seen his advantage on several key health issues narrow significantly among likely voters, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Wednesday. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation).

Most troublesome for Obama is that, among likely voters, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has pulled nearly even with him on which candidate would do a better job with Medicare — an issue that resonates in battleground states with large elderly populations like Florida and Pennsylvania.  Obama’s advantage on that question has shrunk despite the fact that six in 10 likely voters continue to oppose Romney’s idea of changing Medicare to a premium support system, in which the government would guarantee each senior a fixed amount of money to help them purchase coverage.   Overall, about 46 percent of voters said they prefer Obama on Medicare compared to 41 percent  for Romney, a gap that is not statistically significant. In September, Obama held a 16 point lead on the Medicare question.

Senior voters are even more likely to oppose switching to premium support, but they prefer Romney to Obama on Medicare, 48 percent to 43 percent — also not a statistically significant gap.

While the economy remains voters’ most important issue, the poll found over a third of likely voters polled say the Affordable Care Act and Medicare are “extremely important” to their vote. The law appears to be motivating supporters and opponents of the law about equally.

Obama has also seen his lead among likely voters narrow considerably on questions about Medicaid, lowering health costs and determining the future of the 2010 health care law. On each question, Obama’s lead has narrowed from at least 16 percentage points in September to single digits in October.

On the other hand, Obama’s continues to hold a large advantage on women’s reproductive health choices and services, where he is trusted by 51 percent of likely voters compared to 33 percent for Romney.

The survey of 1,215 adults was conducted Oct. 18-23 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The margin of error for the likely voter subgroup is +/- 4 percentage points

9 Responses to “Romney Narrows Gap With Obama On Voters’ Trust To Manage Medicare”

  1. Helen says:

    Trust to manage Medicare? After Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the Mid-Atlantic and North East, who do you trust to manage a natural disaster? Obama and Big Government or Romney and Bain Capital? I would not expect not Koch Brothers to be coming to my rescue. I would, however, expect a firefighter, an EMT, a chopper pilot, a nurse or a policeman! In times like natural disasters and in times when people need medical care, I trust Big Government every time! That’s why I’m more than happy to pay my taxes!

  2. Kevin says:

    I find this headline to be very misleading. When I opened this article I expected to see no gap (Romney Closes Gap). Instead I found a 5 point gap. I think you meant to say that the gap has been narrowed or reduced.

  3. Ted says:

    Most Medicare beneficiaries, and the public at large, do not understand is that the health reform law includes provisions that preclude judicial or adminsitartive review of many of its provisions. The Medicare program has chosen to implement the law in ways that can and likely will cause harm to Medicare beneficiaries. While such judicial preclusion of review is uncoinstitutional and will likely be challenged, it does raise a question for the President and the Congress that enacted the legislation as to why these provisions nede to be included in the first place. Exactly. “what are they going to do that they want to prevent me from appealing?” Supporters of the law need to answer this fundamental question.

  4. Kyle says:

    I agree with Ted in that most of the public and a large portion of Medicare beneficiaries do not understand what the implications are going to be like for these beneficiaries and for generations who are soon to be entered into Medicare if PPACA gets fully implemented. The cuts this administration will make to the Medicare program are very substantial and frightening. Medicare services render very low reimbursement to providers form the government already… and now that number is going to be reduced even more as PPACA cuts 415 billion in medical payments over the next 10 years to hospitals, doctors, nursing facilities. A substantial number of doctors have already gone on record to say they will most likely cut the amount of medicare patients they will see or get rid of the program from their practice all together. Most hospitals are going to have a very tough time staying profitable if the large majority of the services they provide come from medicare payments. PPACA also cuts 156 billion from the very popular Medicare Advantage plans private insurance companies offer as a supplement to traditional Medicare. The Obama administration believes they are reimbursing companies too much for the extra benefits beneficiaries of these types of plans receive, but the truth is is that even these reimbursments do not come close to what’s necessary to cover the costs providers charge for services. 24% of seniors nationally are members of thes MA plans and the popularity of these plans is increasing…yet PPACA is cutting it? PPACA claims it is cutting the hospital payments to steer away for fee for service payments and is switching over to a quality care type pay structure where reimbursements are awarded to the best performing providers..except the funding for this type of payment the feds have put aside is absolutely miniscule compared to what providers will end up losing (1 billion a year, and this is to be spread out upon providers..over 10 years thats 10 billion total and you have to be chosen to receive payments, compared with the 415 billion stripped).
    The obama administration claims that Medicare beneficiaries will not lose any benefits on paper…but in reality, they will have a hard time finding doctors and hospitals that are willing to perform expensive procedures only to end up with a massive bill that the federal government will only reimburse a fraction of.

  5. rich says:

    Hey Kyle,


  6. W Khalifa says:

    Need some doctors that only care for Medicare patients and not reimbursement rates.

  7. Kyle says:

    Good one Rich…Too much for you to comprehend? Don’t have a real response?

  8. Michael says:

    Okay ladies you’re coming closer to Mitt I see. However, you also believe that there is ‘legitimate’ rape and that women have the ability to shut down their reproductive system? Or that in the case of rape (not sure if its legitimate or other wise) if the woman is impregnated and unable to shut down her reproductive system, that God has granted her that child through rape. Or that placing an aspirin between your legs will prevent pregnancy. (It will if you keep your legs closed on the aspirin). Are you aware that the Republican Party Platform has no exceptions for abortion for the woman in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother. That if Ryan’s program is considered in vitro fertilization would be a crime? So if a woman has been diagnosed with cancer and is pregnant she would not be able to receive chemo therapy to save her life but would be allowed to die to save the child. Or that a 12 yr old girl whose uncle whispers to her..’shh its our secret’ and conceives is forced to have that child even though it might kill the child in labor? Or the college student who thought she was going to a party is gang raped for 3 hours is now forced to have the child. You can spin this any way you want. The Republican Party wants you to know its not important what is in their party platform that it won’t happen that way. But it will. If its your daughter, mother, niece, cousin what then? Women of America wake up. Your reproductive rights are on the line.

  9. Kyle says:

    You are out of your mind dude. Just like the rest of the liberals and the Obama administration, you’ve been reducing women down to their reproductive rights, as if that is the only thing they care about. All you preach is that women will be stripped of their rights if the republicans take office…what country do we live in? Women want jobs and money to buy groceries, they want everything we want, they don’t JUST focus on wanting free birth control and free abortions. Romney and Ryan’s position on abortion is they oppose it but will support it in cases of rape, incest, or where the mother faces a medical danger by having the baby. That comes right off this webpage, so read the facts and stop spewing your trash. By saying Women of America wake up, you are putting women down and treating them as if they can’t think for themselves or make decisions for themselves. You, my friend, need to wake up.