By Julian Pecquet - 04/15/11 07:49 PM EDT
In order to rein in costs, the GOP budget converts Medicare to a type of voucher system for people currently under 55. Instead of government-run Medicare, seniors would buy private insurance and the government would foot some of the bill.
In the poll, the proposal is described as making "major cuts of almost $800 billion to Medicaid and Medicare for seniors over the next 10 years."
"Starting in 2022," the poll question continues, "new retirees will no longer get health coverage through Medicare, but instead will get a voucher that will partially pay for insurance they purchase from private health insurance companies."
After pollsters tell respondents they'll have to pay for healthcare coverage under the GOP plan — as the Congressional Budget Office has confirmed — 66 percent say they have "serious doubts" about the proposal.
No Democrats and all but four Republicans voted for the GOP budget on Friday.
Republicans are well-aware of the risks, though, and they have a ready parry. As Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) told reporters Thursday, the budget bill merely sets spending targets but does not actually implement the policies it outlines.
If Republicans voting Friday "are worried about that," LaTourette said, "they shouldn't be, because the Ryan budget doesn’t do anything to Medicare or Medicaid or anything else. That is not the purview of the Budget Committee."