Medicare sure to be hot topic in vice presidential debate

News outlets offer previews of tonight's prime time exchange between Vice President Joe Biden and his GOP opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan. 

The New York Times: Six Things To Watch For In Biden-Ryan Debate
Will Mr. Ryan be tempted to repeat a staple of his and Mr. Romney's stump speech, that the president has plundered $716 billion from Medicare to pay for "Obamacare?" There is danger there. Mr. Ryan incorporated the same $716 billion savings into his House budget this spring, and he has now renounced that plan because Mr. Romney promises to "restore" the money to Medicare. Mr. Biden would love to see Mr. Ryan, a self-described "numbers guy," get lost in the weeds of budget baselines and other details that he sometimes uses to explain this discrepancy. But the trap seems too easy (Gabriel, 10/10).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: 5 Things To Watch For Thursday Night In Biden-Ryan Vice Presidential Debate
Expect to hear lots about the House Republican budget plan written by Ryan. Biden's sure to criticize Ryan's spending cuts and Medicare proposal as too extreme. Even GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has distanced himself from some of Ryan's more controversial ideas (10/11).

Politico Pro: Ryan Plan's Bipartisan Roots Not Very Deep
Rep. Paul Ryan vaulted to national fame and the GOP ticket by styling himself as a visionary thinker and slayer of bloated entitlements. But at Thursday's vice presidential debate, don't be surprised if he portrays his blueprint for transforming Medicare as part of a bipartisan legacy with Clintonian roots. It's become part of Ryan's standard pitch. There's just one problem: The versions that actually had a modicum of bipartisan support are distant relatives of Ryan's Medicare plan. If they ever met on the street, they might not recognize each other. Ryan, in recent campaign appearances, and Mitt Romney, at last week's debate, both talked up the bipartisan aspects of "premium support." Both have alluded to connections to Bill Clinton's presidency (Kenen, 10/11).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from 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.

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