2008 record      

 

A majority of the public approves of the Republican plan to cut Medicaid spending while handing greater control of the health care program to states, the latest IBD/TIPP poll finds. It also found overwhelming support for President Trump's call to impose work requirements on able-bodied food-stamp recipients, and strong support for tax cuts.

President Trump's approval rating, however, slipped to 37% from last month's 39%.

The nationwide poll was conducted from May 30 through June 6, and includes 903 adults surveyed by live interviewers using cellphones and landlines. It has a margin of error of +/-3.3 percentage points.

Medicaid Reforms Wanted

The IBD/TIPP poll found that 55% support "reducing federal funding of Medicaid, a program that provides health care for low-income Americans, by giving states more flexibility to manage the program," while 42% oppose this reform. In addition to strong support from Republicans (70% of whom approve of this idea), more than half (54%) of independents back it, as do 44% of Democrats.

Regionally, the idea gets the strongest support among those living in the Northeast and the South (59% approve), while half back the idea in the Midwest and West.

These results come as the Senate starts work on an ObamaCare-replacement plan. A key sticking point for Republicans has been the House bill's proposed changes to Medicaid. Under the House bill, federal Medicaid funds would be capped and, in exchange, states would have more flexibility in how they manage this health care program for the poor. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the House bill would reduce projected Medicaid spending by 14% over the next decade.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he expects a vote on a Senate ObamaCare-replacement bill before the July 4 recess. The Senate version is expected to water down the House's Medicaid changes.

Work For Food Stamps

On food stamps, more than three quarters (76%) support "adding a work requirement for able-bodied food-stamp recipients." That includes a large majority of Democrats (66% of whom back a work requirement) and independents (77% approve). In fact, the idea gets majority support from every demographic breakdown included in the poll results. For example, 71% of those making less than $30,000 a year support food-stamp work requirements.

President Trump's budget plan calls for expanding work requirements for able-bodied adults on food stamps, which Trump's Office of Management and Budget calculated would save $192 billion over 10 years.

Some states have been pushing work requirements on their own, and have seen dramatic results.

When Alabama imposed work requirements in 13 of its counties, it saw an 85% drop in food stamp participation. Georgia saw a 62% drop in number of people getting food stamps after imposing a work requirement in 21 of its counties. Maine saw an 80% drop in the number of able-bodied adults-without-children receiving food stamps after its work rule went into effect in 2015.

According to the Heritage Foundation, the number of able-bodied adults on food stamps shot up from 2 million in 2008 to about 5 million by 2016.

Tax Cuts Over Spending Hikes

The poll also asked those surveyed whether they'd prefer more government services and higher taxes or fewer services and lower taxes.

It found that 57% would prefer tax cuts more than government services. Out of all the demographic, partisan and ideological categories, only Democrats and liberals said they prefer more government services and higher taxes (65% and 64%, respectively).

Nearly two-thirds of independents (63%) and more than half of moderates (52%), would rather have tax cuts than bigger government.

Even when tax cuts are pitted against military spending, tax cuts win. The poll found that 54% would most prefer tax cuts, while only 39% would most prefer an increase in military spending.

The May IBD/TIPP poll found that the public also supported several specific features of Trump's tax reform plan.

"Most Americans favor a smaller government with fewer services over a larger government with more services," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica who directs the IBD/TIPP Poll.  "The debate surrounding cutting taxes or increasing defense spending splits along party lines. While Republicans overwhelmingly support more spending on defense, both Democrats and Independents prefer tax cuts. At the same time, however, on the question of the proper role of government, Democrats overwhelmingly favor higher federal taxes with more government services."

Other Findings

  •  Just 36% say Trump is providing strong leadership for the country.
  •  40% say Trump's handling of the economy has been "excellent" or "good"; 44% say this about his handling of terrorism. On immigration, however, only 37% give Trump high marks.
  •  43% are satisfied with the direction of the country, up slightly from last month.

Click here to read the original article on the Investor's Business Daily website.

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