A CNN/USA Today poll of 1,011 Americans conducted Sept. 22-24 found that fifty-one percent oppose Republicans’ plan to reform Medicare while only thirty-two percent favor it. Fifty-three percent felt that the elderly would be worse off if the reforms came into effect. Furthermore, forty-four percent indicated that the Republican leadership in Congress was moving the country in the wrong direction, up from thirty-seven percent in March of 1995 and twenty-seven percent in November of 1994.
In general, the Medicare reform would raise premiums for individuals (many admit that premiums would double) and slow payments to doctors and hospitals. Republicans also hope that beneficiaries will voluntarily switch to other types of health maintenance organizations. Democrats have strongly criticized the reforms and Republican handling of them, arguing that they are attempting to move the reforms through Congress without disclosing them fully to the American public.