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Divided Nation? Not if You Talk to Voters about Social Security & Medicare

New National Polling Shows Americans of All Ages Oppose Cutting Middle-Class Benefits to Reduce the Debt

New national Election Day polling released by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and Lake Research Partners shows that the disconnect between middle-class Americans and Washington on how best to put our fiscal house in order has never been larger.

“It’s clear the American people simply aren’t buying deficit crisis claims that the only way to reign in the deficit is to cut middle-class programs like Social Security and Medicare. Our national polling shows broad bipartisan support for reform proposals such as raising Social Security’s payroll tax cap and allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices.  However, Americans of all ages and political stripes oppose cutting benefits and members of Congress should heed the message voters of both parties have clearly delivered.” Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO

While many in Congress want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to reduce the deficit, strong majorities of voters across party lines disagree with that approach.

  • 85% of those polled say Social Security and Medicare were important factors in casting their 2012 vote
  • By a 3-1 margin, voters overwhelmingly support preserving the traditional Medicare program rather than giving retirees a voucher, even a plurality of Republican voters preferred this approach
  • Voters strongly oppose cutting Social Security benefits with 71% opposed to means-testing and 67% opposed to raising the retirement age
  • 64% strongly oppose cutting Medicare benefits for future retirees and 59% oppose cutting payments to Medicare providers

While cutting the deficit ranks far below the economy and jobs as a priority for Americans polled, they do support two reforms impacting Social Security and Medicare:

  • 64% support raising the Social Security payroll tax cap so that higher income earners contribute on all of their earnings, just as lower wage workers do. That includes 75% of Democrats, 63% of Independents and 54% of Republicans
  • 86% of those polled want Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, saving the program billions of dollars each year.

Letters from more than 100,000 National Committee members and supporters nationwide urging their representatives to reject middle-class benefit cuts in the name of deficit reduction are also being delivered to Congress this week. 

The National Committee’s poll is on our website at:



The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.

Media Inquiries to:
Pamela Causey 202-216-8378/202-236-2123
Kim Wright 202-216-841


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