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Bay Area seniors react to Romney's VP pick, proposed Medicare overhaul

11:21 PM, Aug 12, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- Florida senior voters are sounding off about Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick.

Ryan is often cited for his controversial views on economic policy and proposed changes to Medicare. Could it cause problems for the Republican ticket when trying to get votes due to our large number of seniors?

Norman Beaulieu, 76, is currently on Medicare and thinks it needs to stay as is. "That's for the people. The people paid for this, so leave it alone," he said.

Congressman Ryan's plan includes creating more of a free market by offering a system of payments to seniors to buy health insurance. It would also increase the Medicare eligibility age to 67 in 2023.

Michael Dodyk, who receives Medicare, thinks Congressman Ryan may be on the right track. "I know something has to be done. I think he's a conservative and I think we have to take that attitude that there has to be cutbacks. We can't just keep giving it away," he said.

USF political science professor Dr. Susan MacManus said the senior vote in Florida is very much divided when it comes to Democrats and Republicans.

"The assumption that it's just going to be a slam dunk for Democrats on Medicare with seniors...we've yet to really see whether that's going to be the case based on registration," said Dr. MacManus.

In fact, of registered seniors in Florida 65 and over, about 41 percent are Republicans and 40 percent are Democrats.

MacManus added whoever takes the senior vote in the Sunshine State could come down to who explains their Medicare plan the best.

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