In VP debate, Biden and Ryan clash on health issues

Published on October 15, 2012 at 4:16 AM · No Comments

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).

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