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Poll: Swing-state voters prefer current Medicare over Ryan plan

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Nearly two-thirds of Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin voters prefer the current Medicare system over a proposed privatized voucher system supported by Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate, according to a poll released Thursday.

The Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll found that 62 percent of voters in Florida, 64 percent in Ohio and 59 percent in Mr. Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin want Medicare to be kept the way it is, with the government providing health insurance directly to the elderly and disabled.

Mr. Ryan has pushed a plan that would give future enrollees vouchers to purchase at least a portion of their own insurance on the free market.

About 75 percent of voters in each of the three states said they consider Medicare’s benefits to be worth the program’s cost to taxpayers, and only about 10 percent said they would support major reductions in Medicare to help reduce the federal budget deficit.

About 48 percent said they would support minor reductions, and about 35 percent said they want no reductions.

The poll found that health care and Medicare are the second- and third-most important issues to voters in the states, behind the economy, and that voters think President Obama would do a better job of handling them than GOP challenger Mitt Romney.

Voters gave Mr. Romney the edge on managing the economy and the budget deficit, but also preferred the president’s approach to foreign policy.

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