Biden mocks Republicans on Medicare plan

Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday mocked Republicans for acting like they invented Medicare.

"If you came from another country and you just listened to their convention, you'd say, those guys came up with a great idea 50 years ago," Biden said at a campaign rally in New Hampshire. "You'd think it was a Republican idea."

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Democrats and Republicans have ramped up the rhetoric on Medicare lately and both sides in the presidential election have slammed each other over the issue.

Republicans have been touting their plan to partially privatize Medicare, a plan that would allow senior citizens to choose between the program or a subsidy to help pay for private insurance. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan say the approach is necessary to stop Medicare spending from spiraling out of control.

But they have been faced with obstacles on selling their plan. On Friday, Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential nominee, drew boos when he attacked Obama's healthcare law, saying it had weakened Medicare. It was a sign of the challenge that lies ahead for Republicans on the issue.


At the campaign rally on Saturday, Biden sought to explain that the program has improved under the Obama administration and that "under the president's leadership, we in fact increased benefits," he said. "Anybody on Medicare today... ask them. They have more benefits today than they did the week we came into office."

--Sam Baker contributed to this report.