Advocates for Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare reforms have done their best to stress that any changes to the government’s health care system for the elderly would not affect current (and soon-to-be) recipients. Older adults, however, are the most likely to oppose his planned changes to Medicare. By a 51%-to-25% margin, adults ages 65 and older oppose changing Medicare into a program that would give future participants a credit toward purchasing private health insurance. Including all adults ages 50 and older, opposition remains just as strong (51% to 29%). And this opposition is intense: 42% of adults ages 50 and older strongly oppose this kind of change to Medicare, while only 19% strongly favor it. Adults younger than age 30 are the most likely to support changes to Medicare (46% favor), but they are also the age group that has heard the least about Rep. Ryan’s proposal. Just 13% of young adults say they have heard a lot about such Medicare reforms, compared with 30% of adults older than age 65. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.