To pay for tax cuts, take money from foreign aid if you must, 1 in 2 Americans say. But do not touch my Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security, insist the majority of U.S. adults gauged by the November 2017 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

This month’s survey looks at Americans’ priorities for President Trump and the Congress in light of the GOP tax reforms emerging from Capitol Hill.

While reforming taxes is considered a top priority for the President and Congress by 3 in 10 people, two healthcare policy issues are more important to U.S. adults: first, 62% of U.S. adults want Congress to reauthorize CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program; and second, 48% want legislators to stabilize the ACA health insurance marketplaces, shown in the second graph.

Another “don’t touch this” issue among a plurality of all  Americans addresses the tax deduction for health citizens with high health care costs. Across all 3 party affiliations (Democrat, Independent, and Republican), most people are against eliminating the medical expense tax deduction (opposing views among 77% of Democrats, 66% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans).

An underlying survey question asked whether people believe eliminating this would directly impact their families: 44% of people said, “yes.”

The Poll was conducted among 1,201 U.S. adults via phone between 8-13th November 2017.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Contrary to what most U.S. adults seek – “hands-off” Medicare — the latest version of the GOP tax bill takes $25 billion out of Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office analysis.

Healthcare is personal, and health care costs comprise an integral part of American family budgets. Today, the typical American family allocates $1 in every $5 of household spending to health care. Healthcare spending is Americans’ top “pocketbook issue,” so health care costs and insurance coverage is inextricably linked to tax policy and what peoples’ take home pay from work nets out to be.

Interestingly, financial wellness is a top consideration for employer benefits teams looking to 2018. It may surprise Health Populi readers to know that the fastest-growing holder of student loan debt is…Baby Boomers according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Most Boomers are also evaluating retirement prospects in the coming decade. So “not touching” Medicare and Social Security will be top priorities for this group of U.S. voters, who are increasingly health care cost-conscious.

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