Americans aren’t convinced that cuts to Medicare and Social Security are necessary to balance the federal budget, a new poll found on Monday, even as lawmakers continue to argue that the programs must be reined in.
An Associated Press-GfK poll showed that 54 percent of Americans think that the budget can be balanced without cuts to Medicare, while 59 percent said the same about Social Security. On the other hand, 44 percent said that Medicare cuts are needed, while 39 percent said the same about Social Security.
The poll comes as Republicans are feeling increasing pushback from voters over House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan, which includes a major overhaul of Medicare.
Americans see Democrats as doing a better job managing both programs, the poll found, with 54 percent saying they trust Democrats more in handling Medicare and 52 percent said the same about Social Security. A third of those surveyed said they trust Republicans to do a better job handling both of those problems, while another 11 percent trust neither.
Though the future of both programs have been in doubt for years, 70 percent of Americans said that Social Security is “extremely” or “very” important to their financial security in retirement, while 72 percent said the same about Medicare. Sixty-two percent said both programs are extremely or very important to their retirement plans.
The poll was conducted May 5-9 and surveyed 1,001 adults. The error margin is plus or minus 4.2 percent.
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