June 12, 2015

The American Perceptions Initiative (API)— a project of The Heritage Foundation—conducts market research among adult Americans on a variety of issues and policy priorities to provide support for strategy and messaging. Market research is designed to explore the relevancy, credibility and support for the policies, concepts, messages and language used as well as the impact they have to create movement and action to support these policies and vision for America.

All of API’s market research is conducted in partnership with Vision Critical and Heart+Mind Strategies. Vision Critical is a well-respected research firm based on North America with research specialist that cover subjects including public opinion, health, technology, consumer goods, media and travel. They work with household brands, government bodies, not-for-profit organizations and the media to help them better understand their customers and stakeholders. Heart+Mind Strategies is an experienced and award winning consulting firm specializing in winning the hearts and minds of the people that matter most to their client’s success.

June 12, 2015 | Market Research on Entitlement Reform

Building Support for Entitlement Reform

Strong Interest in Social Security and Medicare

Entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare garner some of the highest interest from the American people. In terms of personal importance they fall alongside strengthening the economy and the job market as the most personally important issues and policies facing the country today.

In fact, Social Security is consistently a top motivating issue in driving Americans to get out and vote, with 35% of Americans choosing it as a top motivator from among more than twenty issues ranging from fighting terrorism to renewable energy. By contrast, keeping Medicare funded, which also scored as one of the top issues, was selected by 20% of Americans.

Building Support For Entitlement Reform

It is clear that Americans have a strong interest in the health of these programs. Focusing on the necessity of putting them on a sustainable path to ensure their survival well into the future can help build support for reform.

“Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will run out of money unless they are reformed by targeting the benefits more toward those who really need the help. Keeping the programs as they are would unfairly place an additional tax burden on our middle class and future generations.”
50% more interested and favorable toward conservative vision

Similarly, drawing an accurate picture of the size of these programs as they currently stand and the weight they place on the budget can have a noticeable impact. Recent research on government spending in the Opportunity for All: Favoritism to None policy vision identified the following as a powerful way of driving attention to this concern: “Popular programs like Social Security and Medicare, if left unreformed, will soon devour nearly two-thirds of all tax dollars.”1

With the high levels of importance placed on the future of these programs and a majority of Americans saying conservatives are best equipped to lead on this issue, there is real opportunity for engaging the American people on the need for sustainability, choice, and a secure future for programs that serve those in need.

Source: Online survey using a national representative sample of 1,019 U.S. voters conducted December 9–16, 2014 with a margin of error of ±3.0%. 1. Online survey using a national representative sample of 6,246 U.S. voters conducted January 12–22, 2015 with a margin of error of ±1.2%.

About the Author

Mark Schreiber Director, Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing

Elizabeth Fender Market Research Associate
Strategic Marketing

Related Issues: Entitlement Reform