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 Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel (8/23): Medicare Deserves Sharp Focus in 2012 Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate has locked up a spot for Medicare among the top issues in this year’s campaign. Good. A serious national debate over the program’s future is overdue…. Here’s hoping both sides will do a better job of leveling with the American people about Medicare in the remaining weeks of the campaign.

Buffalo (N.Y.) News (8/21): Wanted: Serious Debate on Medicare

The future of Medicare is taking center stage in this year’s federal elections, and center stage is exactly where this crucial program belongs. It’s near criminal that candidates are refusing to give it the seriousness that it demands.

Republicans and Democrats alike are misstating facts about the issues and about what their opponents are saying. It’s as though it is too much for Americans to ask for a government that actually solves important problems. Each side would act on its own if it could, of course, but that is all but impossible. The American form of democracy was built on the need for compromise, and neither party, especially the Republicans, is much interested in that idea.

Detroit Free Press (8/21): Let’s Stop All the Scary Sound Bites About Medicare

One of the casualties of the presidential campaign could be the potential for a constructive look at Medicare. Both candidates are busily assailing the other’s ideas for controlling Medicare costs, essentially as a way to scare up votes from seniors…. Neither side should let election hyperbole squelch the chance for the cooler-headed dialogue about the nation’s budget, including Medicare, that will still be essential even after the votes are counted.

Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times (8/21): The Voters Deserve Better

If both sides of America’s political divide can agree on anything, it is that this presidential election offers voters two distinct choices on which direction to lead the nation. Yet the dispiriting campaigns so far have been more about who can spend the most to tell the biggest lies and get away with it. The shift in emphasis from the economy to Medicare has produced more distortions instead of clarity, and voters deserve better from President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney….

The presidential election is less than 80 days away. Voters are already turned off by the negative advertising, and they deserve a campaign that accurately contrasts the two choices and does not insult their intelligence.

Fresno (Calif.) Bee, 8/21: Don’t Let Facts Get in the Way of a $716 Billion Medicare Rant

The deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression hit young adults ages 18 to 34 particularly hard, with the highest levels of unemployment and underemployment since the government began tracking in 1948. Yet the biggest debate on the presidential campaign trail today is about benefits for the older generation — a sign of who votes….

The Medicare system does need shoring up — so this debate is important…. In the end, the choice is between figuring out how to restrain costs: through traditional Medicare, as Obama envisions, or by doing a complete transformation, as Romney wants. Medicare ultimately is a concern for today’s young adults — who will either benefit from or be harmed by what’s being proposed in the 2012 campaign.

Photo: NS Newsflash/Flickr