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Chicago Sun-Times - In First Debate, Congressional Rivals Walsh and Duckworth Tangle Over Medicare

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By Abdon M. Pallasch

In the first debate of what could be one of the hottest congressional races in the country, Republican Rep. Joe Walsh and Iraqi War veteran Tammy Duckworth, accused each other of wanting to end Medicare.

Walsh voted for Rep. Paul Ryan's budget which Walsh said is the only plan on the table to save Medicare. Duckworth said the Wisconsin Republican's budget "guts" the troubled program.

Walsh and Duckworth also clashed on gay marriage and contraception.

"If you pass the Ryan budget, it would end Medicare as we know it tomorrow -- not in 10 years -- it would gut it as we know it tomorrow," Duckworth said as they talked over each other.

"It would save Medicare," Walsh said, telling his Democratic rival to drop her argument: "Get rid of that."

"Congressman," Duckworth continued, "In order to give a tax cut to millionaires and billionaires, you would completely gut Medicare. You're right: The seniors in my district are scared that they are going to lose their Social Security¬Ö"


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