Medicare, Florida take center stage in 2012 presidential election

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Mitt Romney's announcement of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his choice for vice president puts a lot of attention on the issue of Medicare.

Now both the Obama and Biden ticket, as well as the Romney and Ryan team, are focusing on Florida, a state known for a high population of seniors and retirees.

"As always, we have the retirement group here and it is always about us today and our future because we'll eventually be there," said Denise Jungbert of Boynton Beach.

It is the older demographic that has the candidates and voters focusing on the future. The big issues many are emphasizing deal with Medicare and Social Security and which candidates have the better plan.

"If they don't do something about it anyway, in 12 years there's going to be no system for us to take from," said Victor DeFrisco of Wellington.

Most of the attention surrounding Medicare focuses on Paul Ryan's proposed plan that would shift the current "fee-for-service" model to one where retirees buy private health insurance with the help of government subsidies. Ryan's model is causing some concern for some voters who like the current system.

"I just want to make sure all the seniors who are current and future seniors, including me will one day have Medicare and Social Security and it concerns me," said Angela Thompson of West Palm Beach.

Ryan's proposed plan would affect those younger than 55. Anyone older would be given the choice of remaining on the old system. 

"I pretty much have come to the conclusion that we're not going to have Medicare or Social Security you know people of my generation," said Ben Smith of West Palm Beach.

The chief concern most local voter have is who will be in the Oval Office for the next four years and they understand it is Florida that could tip the scales in either direction.

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