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Medicare a top issue for 2012 campaign

Republican vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan

Republican vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan Credit: Republican vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (Getty Images)

Medicare has become a top issue in the presidential election, surpassing the controversy over President Obama's healthcare law, according to poll data released just as Mitt Romney pushed the issue to the forefront with his announcement of his running mate.

Last Saturday, Romney announced he had picked Representative Paul Ryan, a lawmaker whose plan to cut billions of dollars from the U.S. deficit included transforming the costly but popular healthcare program for the elderly. Critics say the plan would make the elderly responsible for spending thousands more dollars each year on health care.

The nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation has been conducting polls throughout the campaign to assess Americans' views of the Medicare system in light of the elections.

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