Poll: Voters oppose higher Medicare costs for seniors

Majorities of both voters for President Obama voters and Mitt Romney said they disapprove of plans to "raise people's Medicare health care contributions." Sixty percent of Obama voters said they disapprove, compared with 55 percent of Romney voters.

The phrasing is somewhat oblique, and doesn't clearly refer to the main elements of either candidate's Medicare plan. But — as Obama and Vice President Biden are eager to point out — Romney's plan would likely require seniors to pay more out of pocket if they want to keep receiving traditional Medicare.

His proposal would give seniors a fixed amount of money to use for either Medicare or private insurance. The subsidy would be tied to the second-cheapest plan on the market, which likely wouldn't be enough to cover the full cost of choosing Medicare.

Romney's plan to repeal Obama's healthcare law would also require seniors to pay more for prescription drugs and preventive care. Those services were discounted under the healthcare law.

But the Pew poll found similarly bipartisan support for proposals that would "reduce Medicare for higher-income seniors." Half of Obama voters and 53 percent of Romney voters said they approve of that idea.

Again, the wording is confusing — no one has proposed reducing benefits for wealthier seniors. But both Obama and Romney do support asking wealthy seniors to pay higher premiums for their Medicare benefits.