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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pawlenty in South Florida stops short of endorsing GOP's plan on Medicare

As promised, Tim Pawlenty used a campaign event in Coral Gables today to call for changes to Social Security, saying he favored gradually raising the retirement age and phase out cost-of-living increases for wealthier recipients. But when it came to the hot issue of the day -- Medicare -- the Republican presidential candidate was less clear.

From The Associated Press:

Pawlenty said he would roll out a detailed plan in the coming weeks that had both similarities and differences with the voucher plan advocated by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the chairman of the House Budget Committee. Democrats, led by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, view the Ryan plan as unpopular and are seeking to link Pawlenty and other GOP candidates to it.

Wasserman Shultz, who is also chair of the Democratic National Committee, asked on Twitter: "If president, would he sign or veto Ryan plan to end Medicare?" Pawlenty did not take a direct stand on that question, but he did say Medicare must undergo changes to become financially stable.

For example, he said seniors could be rewarded if they seek care from professionals who can provide quality care at lower costs, and pay more if they go to providers who are more costly.

"That approach works. Why? Because people have some skin in the game," he said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 6:41pm]


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