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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

On Medicare, GOP plan could be its problem

Medicare: big, complicated, endangered — and the latest proving ground for Republican candidates.

U.S. Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos got thrown off a radio show for refusing to say whether he endorsed the Ryan plan to overhaul Medicare. Two weeks earlier, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich took so much heat for deeming the plan "right-wing social engineering" that he retracted the comment and apologized the next day. His campaign has sputtered ever since.

Democrats are offering few long-term solutions of their own but are content to sit back as the conservative base of the GOP pushes to make the Ryan plan a fundamental litmus test just as more pragmatic Republicans worry it will be toxic in the 2012 general election.

"If Republicans are going to make their guys walk that plank, it could be dangerous," said John Feehery, a GOP strategist who thinks the party needs to focus more on immediate issues like jobs, wages and the housing market. (story here)

[Last modified: Sunday, June 5, 2011 2:55pm]


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