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Sen. Boxer attacks Romney-Ryan Medicare plan

By Megan Terlecky, Anchor / Reporter, megan.terlecky@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Oct 12 2012 07:44:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 12 2012 11:01:39 PM CDT
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

The most heated exchange during Thursday night's debate was about the future of Medicare. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden squared off in the only vice presidential debate.  Many viewers were left confused as to who has the best solution for seniors and their health. Friday, Sen. Barbara Boxer wanted to set the record straight in the Coachella valley.

"These are facts," the Democratic senator said in front of a crowded room at the Mizell Senior Center in Palm Springs. 

"There was $716 billion over 10 years in waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare.  The president got rid of it and put it back into Medicare.  Paul Ryan got rid of it and gave a tax cut to wealthy millionaires and billionaires.  That's the God's honest truth," said Senator Boxer.

Boxer says the Romney-Ryan plan will end Medicare as we know it.

"That's how bad this voucher system is.  It's a disaster," said Boxer.

Boxer says Romney's plan will give people who are currently under 55 a check when they are older to go and buy a medical plan of their choosing, private or public.

"Lets call it what it is.  Getting a voucher in the mail is very different than getting a Medicare card that you can take to your doctor," said Boxer.

Most of people we talked to didn't like the idea.  Sherman Laster, is on Medicare.

He says, "Medicare should remain as it is today without any changes."
 
Douglas Morton says,  "Keep it the way it is with changes to secure it for the future."

Senator Boxer says, "How the heck is someone who is already maybe, that is not that well and a bit frail, going to run out, an 80 year-old person, and try to find a policy and its $6,000 short?  The chances are you are not going to get any healthcare."

Tom Wasko, who is on Medicare, says he wants to be able to chose a private plan

"I had a treatment done, and the government paid a portion of it.  I had to pay $3,200 of it out of my own pocket, even though it came from the government .  So consequently, with the standard insurance from the private industry it would cover it all," said Wasko.

Right now Wasko believes his tax dollars are being wasted.

"They just keep taking our tax dollars and dumping it into a hole and we never get anything out of it.  I spend a fortune on tax dollars and I get nothing for it," said Wasko.

Morton says, "I think really the answer is going to be how we do everything, just slow steps, a little chunk here and a little chunk there."