In this face-off, the two candidates outlined very different sets of policies and perspectives on issues ranging from their respective Medicare plans to the uninsured and abortion.
Los Angeles Times: Vice Presidential Debate Gets Prickly On Healthcare
As the candidates for vice president parried, Ryan accused the Obama administration of "getting caught with its hand in the cookie jar," and Biden charged that the plans proposed by Ryan and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would privatize Medicare and wind up cutting benefits for younger people as they approached retirement age (Landsberg, 10/11).
The Wall Street Journal: Understudies Give Viewers A First-Rate Performance
But once the debate got to the differences between the two parties on spending, entitlements and taxes, the sparks flew. The two men couldn't agree any more than their parties have over the past four years. The vice president portrayed Republicans as opposed to the crown jewels of the Democratic Party, Social Security and Medicare. … He found ways to repeatedly drive home the fact that he has been around a lot longer than his 42-year-old Republican opponent. He invoked his dealings with Ronald Reagan, and with the late House Speaker Tip O'Neill. He charged that Republicans put two wars on a credit card. Through it all, Mr. Ryan stood his ground and gave back without flinching, giving as good as he got. He marshaled facts and figures and the details he has mastered as the Republicans' budget wunderkind (Seib, 10/12).
The New York Times: Night Of Withering Ripostes, Mostly Delivered By Biden
It was a sharp and spirited debate, with both candidates delivering some lacerating blows, but Mr. Ryan at times seemed disconcerted by the sheer blowhard intensity Mr. Biden brought to the night. Mr. Ryan tried to be respectful, listening to the vice president with a tilted head, choirboy smile and puppy-dog eyes, but he showed his irritation when Mr. Biden kept interrupting to attack his policy on Medicare. "I know you're under duress," he told the vice president, prompting another belly laugh (Stanley, 10/12).
The New York Times: Biden Vs. Ryan: No Shy People Onstage
On critical issues, Mr. Ryan did not shy from his and his party's plans to fundamentally alter Medicare. And while Mr. Romney had played down the benefit of the ticket's tax plan for the wealthy, his running mate fell back on Republican orthodoxy, defending "small businesses" and rich households from what he suggested was the rapacious reach of President Obama. … Mr. Biden was equally steadfast, accusing Mr. Ryan of shifting a health care burden borne for decades by the government onto the elderly, and playing the populist on taxes (Weisman, 10/11).
The New York Times: Bipartisan Spin On Medicare Plan
As Representative Paul D. Ryan debated Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday night, he sometimes seemed to be defending his own past budget and Medicare proposals as much as his running mate's plans -; sometimes in misleading ways (Cooper, Weisman and Schmitt, 10/12).
Politico: Medicare Cage Match: Biden Vs. Ryan
In their vice presidential debate Thursday night, Biden accused Ryan and Mitt Romney of trying to dismantle the companion retirement programs. Ryan countered that Biden and President Barack Obama would let them die from neglect. Their hot exchanges lit up the debate hall and illuminated just how hard the two campaigns are fighting over the votes of senior citizens, particularly in swing states, like Florida and Ohio, where their votes could be crucial on Election Day (Allen, 10/10).
The Washington Post: Fact Check: That Medicare Debate
While it is correct that anticipated savings from Medicare were used to help offset some of the anticipated costs of expanding health care for all Americans, it does not affect the Medicare trust fund. Ryan, as House Budget Committee chairman, probably knows he's playing a rhetorical game here. Federal budget accounting is so complex that it is easy to mislead ordinary Americans -; a tactic used by both parties (Kessler, 10/11).
Los Angeles Times: Fact Check: Ryan Misrepresents Effect Of His Medicare Plan
Rep. Paul D. Ryan claimed inaccurately that the Medicare plan he and Gov. Mitt Romney have proposed would preserve seniors' access to the current Medicare program and would not affect current retirees (Levey, 10/11).
NPR: Biden, Ryan Bent The Truth At Times, Fact Checkers Say
As expected, Vice President Biden and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan both crossed through some heavily disputed territory. They argued over the $716 billion in reduced Medicare spending that's part of the affordable health care law. And they traded barbs over whether the Republican ticket's plan for overhauling Medicare is a "voucher" program that would effectively replace the guaranteed benefit (Memmott and Montgomery, 10/ 11).
The Washington Post: On Abortion, Paul Ryan Articulates Position Different From Earlier One
An exchange at the end of Thursday night's vice-presi¬den¬tial debate illustrated the complex -; and, at times, difficult-to-reconcile -; positions taken by the Republican ticket on the issue of abortion. Moderator Martha Raddatz asked Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the GOP vice-presidential nominee, how a Mitt Romney administration would handle that issue: "Should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?" (Fahrenthold, 10/12).
Los Angeles Times: Abortion: A Brief Quiet Moment In The Vice Presidential Debate
The exchange neatly summarized part of the debate roiling within the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S., with the men landing on opposite sides. Biden stressed his concern for caring for the vulnerable -- the Catholic social doctrine -- while Ryan held firm to his belief that life begins at conception. But it was clear the candidates were aiming to reach far beyond Catholic viewers. Female voters are in a position to decide the victor in November, and both men were playing for those votes as they cast their positions as middle-of-the-road (Hennessey, 10/11).
The Washington Post: Biden, Ryan Talk Abortion, Catholic Social Teaching In Vice-Presidential Debate
During their only debate this campaign season Thursday night, Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) discussed how their Catholic beliefs have shaped their views on abortion (Hunter, 10/11).
The Washington Post: Fact Check: Losing Health Insurance
What does Ryan mean when he says 20 million Americans will lose their health insurance under Obamacare? … The CBO cautions that there is a "tremendous amount of uncertainty" about how employers and employees will respond to the legislation. "One piece of evidence that may be relevant is the experience in Massachusetts, where employment-based health insurance coverage appeared to increase after that state's reforms," the CBO noted. Mitt Romney, as governor, ushered in health-care legislation that served as a model for Obama's health plan (Kessler, 10/11).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Inside Paul Ryan's Health Insurance Number
Ryan's closing statement included a claim that 20 million people are projected to lose their health insurance once the Obama health law takes effect. That figure likely comes from a possible scenario mentioned deep into this March 2012 set of estimates by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that contemplates what employers might do after 2014 when many will be penalized for not providing insurance but can also look to new options such as subsidies towards the cost of premiums for private insurance or Medicaid coverage for low-income workers (Radnofsky, 10/11).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.