|Generational split over health care plan|
|Written by Sakura Robles, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 24 August 2009 21:01|
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, 50 percent of American adults questioned say they approve President Barack Obama’s plans for health care, with 45 percent opposed to it.
The results display a generational divide over support for the plan, with Americans below the age of 50 supporting the plan and those over the age of 50 oppossing it.
Professor of Politics and Government Robert Bradley believes the split is based on more than political party stance.
"My generation, or at least some of the older generation, are used to Medicare and other programs," Bradley said. "And it works for them."
Bradley also quotes Obama’s comments on the "unknown" aspect of the health care debate.
"Obama put this very well in terms of health care by saying ‘people more dislike the devil they don’t know, than the devil they know.’ They may be dissatisfied with health care, but they would rather have the system they are more familiar with than a system they know little to nothing about."
Although some of the older generation are in fear of losing their health care, Professor of Politics and Government Gary Klass believes health care change is inevitable for the American population.
"What they [the older generation] don’t realize is that Medicare will have to change in any event," Klass said. "Medicare spending will fall short of Medicare revenues in four years and the reserve funds in Medicare will run out about 10 years later."
Klass also believes there is a limited amount of solutions on the health care issue.
"There are only three ways to fix this. Raise Medicare taxes or fees, cut Medicare benefits or do something to make the health care system more efficient."
The poll also indicated the battle on health care reform is just starting to register with Americans all over the country, stating only over 50 percent of Americans have strong feelings on the health care debate, with one third in strong opposition to Obama’s plan and 23 percent strongly in favor.
Politics and Government Professor Lane Crothers believes more Americans, regardless of their age, should be familiar with health care and how it can affect them.
"Most Americans have only limited knowledge of the details of specific government policies, regardless of age," Crothers said. "Policies are complex and hard to understand … and can only be understood in detail if you spend a lot of time paying attention, which almost no one, of any age, does."
Although the poll suggests that Americans with actual experience in health care show the most enthusiasm, Klass thinks the younger demographic should care about the direction health care goes.
"Over the past 10 years, health insurance premiums have doubled. If something isn’t done, they will double again," Klass said.
"The 18 to 24 year olds, not the people on Medicare, are the ones who are going to have to pay for that. Or go without health insurance."