Poll: Majority Opposes Cuts In Entitlement Benefits

A new Pew Research Poll shows that the American public continues to remain strongly supportive of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, and opposed to any changes that would result in benefit cuts:

On the broad question of whether it is more important to reduce the budget deficit or to maintain current Medicare and Social Security benefits, the public decisively supports maintaining the status quo. Six-in-ten (60%) say it is more important to keep Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are; only about half as many (32%) say it is more important to take steps to reduce the budget deficit.

Half (50%) of Republicans say that maintaining benefits is more important than deficit reduction; about as many (42%) say it is more important to reduce the budget deficit. More independents prioritize maintaining benefits over reducing the deficit (by 53% to 38%). Democrats overwhelmingly view preserving current Social Security and Medicare benefits as more important (by 72% to 21%).

The public also opposes making Medicare recipients more responsible for their health care costs and allowing states to limit Medicaid eligibility. About six-in-ten (61%) say people on Medicare already pay enough of their own health care costs, while only 31% think recipients need to be responsible for more of the costs of their health care in order to make the system financially secure.

When it comes to Medicaid, just 37% want to allow states to cut back on who is eligible for Medicaid in order to deal with budget problems, while 58% say low-income people should not have their Medicaid benefits taken away.

More poll details at the link, but the take away point is clear — the public does not support anything that it perceives as a cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. GOP, the ball is in your court.


FILED UNDER: Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    In other news free beer remains popular.

  2. Cynic in NY says:

    Another sad poll, people bitch about government spending but at the same time dont want to eliminate entitlements. This is sick but not surprising.

  3. WR says:

    @Dave Schuler: This is so lazy and intellectually dishonest that it barely deserves a comment — except that it is repeated time and again. Polls continue to show the same thing — people believe it is more important to keep entitlements in place than to keep taxes at their current low level. In other words, people belleve these programs are the proper use of our assets, and certainly preferable to their current use of being gifted to the richest of us.

    It’s like the idiots who scream about people wanting “free health care” in the ACA. No one has ever talked about free health care, just a system that’s paid primarily through taxes instead of premiums. The only people who demand something for nothing are the Michelle Bachmanns of the world, who scream about the evils of government spending while sucking down as many farm subsidies as they can grab.

  4. anjin-san says:

    In other news free beer remains popular.

    I’ve been paying into SS for 37 years, as have my employers on my behalf. Perhaps you could explain how it is I want something for “free”…

    I won’t hold my breath.