As Democrats try to portray the GOP vote for Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget as an effort to dismantle Medicare, at least two of the four Republicans who voted against the measure are echoing progressive concerns about how the GOP’s proposal to voucherize the Medicare program would affect seniors:
— REP. DAVID MCKINLEY (R-WV): “The Congressional Budget Office determined that some of the out-of-pocket costs could double for seniors and that sent up a red flag for me that we need to look at it.”
— REP. DENNY REHBERG (R-MT): “This budget … has a lot of good things in it that I fully support. But there are still too many unanswered questions with regard to Medicare reform, and I simply won’t support any plan until I know for a fact that Montana’s seniors will be protected.”
Republican voters seem to agree. A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that Americans oppose cuts to Medicare or Medicaid by a margin of 80 to 18 percent, including 73 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of Independents. In fact, just 28 percent of Tea Pary suppoerts backed the plan, while 75 percent opposed it:
Interestingly, 64 percent of voters supported raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 to pay down the deficit, with 63 percent of independents backing that approach.