THE VILLAGES, Fla., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Paul Ryan Saturday took his Medicare pitch to The Villages, a private senior-citizen community in Florida that is a regular stop for Republican candidates.
Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman and likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney's pick as his vice presidential candidate, was accompanied by his 78-year-old mother, CBS News reported. Ryan told a crowd in one of the "town squares" in the development that his mother's medical expenses are covered by Medicare.
The issue is a hot one in Florida, where 20 percent of voters are old enough to be eligible for Medicare, the Los Angeles Times reported. Democrats charge Ryan's plan to convert Medicare to a voucher program for anyone now under the age of 55 would effectively end it.
Ryan said Saturday President Obama's healthcare plan takes away Medicare recipients' ability to make decisions about their treatment, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"We want this debate. We need this debate. We will win this debate," he said as supporters cheered.
While some residents of The Villages are Democrats, the community was developed by H. Gary Morse, a billionaire who has become a major Romney donor. Romney visited the development during the primary season.