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Cutting Benefits for Deficit Reduction: A Survey of Registered Voters Age 50+ in Three New York Congressional Districts

While residents of New York’s Congressional Districts 20, 24 and 25 over the age of 50 are very concerned about the federal deficit, they oppose reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits to help reduce the deficit.  

  • About seven in ten are very concerned about the federal budget deficit. 
  • About seven in ten oppose raising the debt limit if it means there will be cuts to Social Security and Medicare for current beneficiaries.

Residents of Congressional Districts 20, 24 and 25 over the age of 50 believe seniors should not pay higher Medicare costs or be forced into nursing homes in order to reduce the deficit.

  • About three-quarters say they are less likely to reelect their member of Congress if they support a proposal that requires seniors to pay higher Medicare premiums or pay higher out of pocket costs for Medicare services.
  • More than three-quarters oppose legislation that could result in cuts to services that help older Americans and people with disabilities remain in their own homes rather than go into a nursing home.  

Residents of Congressional Districts 20, 24 and 25 over the age of 50 oppose Social Security benefit reductions and are less likely to reelect members of Congress who support these cuts.  

  • About eight in ten oppose a current proposal to change the calculation for the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that would immediately and permanently reduce seniors’ annual COLA. 
  • Three-quarters say they are less likely to reelect their member of Congress if they support cutting Social Security benefits to help reduce the deficit.  

Woelfel Research Inc. conducted this telephone survey of registered voters aged 50 and over in New York from July 7 through July 11, 2011.  In Congressional District 20, there were 400 respondents; in Congressional District 24, there were 402 respondents; and in Congressional District 25, there were 406 respondents. For more information, please contact Joanne Binette at 202.434.6303.

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