A new Kaiser Family Foundation survey of Americans reveals that the public views Medicare and Social Security as the two most important federal programs, slightly more important than federal aid to public schools and the military. Eighty-three percent of the public see Social Security as very important, and 77 percent see Medicare as very important.
In fact, 41 percent of people want to increase funding for Medicare (48 percent would keep spending where it is) and 50 percent of people want to increase spending for Social Security (43 percent would keep spending where it is). Check out this video to watch Robert Reich make the case for expanding Medicare.
Overall, seven of ten Republicans and independents and nine of ten Democrats see Medicare as very important. People over 65 value Medicare especially highly, regardless of party affiliation—85 percent of Republicans, 89 percent if independents and 92 percent of Democrats see Medicare as very important. Not surprisingly, people over 65 are more satisfied with their Medicare health insurance than people under 65 with their commercial insurance.
Support for Medicaid, a program for people with low incomes, differs more significantly based on party affiliation. Fewer than half of Republicans (47 percent) see Medicaid as very important, while 62 percent of independents and 78 percent of Democrats feel Medicaid is very important.
Read more here about Medicare coverage and the key differences between traditional Medicare and a private Medicare Advantage plan.