Bloomberg by the Numbers: 3.4 Mln

Photograph by Lynne Sladky/AP Photo

Hands raised when the audience was asked how many are on Medicare during the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans fifth annual town hall meeting on health care reform in Delray Beach.

That’s the number of Medicare beneficiaries in Florida as of 2011, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s statehealthfacts.org website.

There are more Medicare beneficiaries in Florida than in any other state except California, the nation’s most populous state. About 18 percent of Florida residents receive Medicare, tied for third behind West Virginia at 21 percent and Maine at 20 percent.

So it wasn’t an accident that President Barack Obama mentioned Medicare seven times during a campaign visit yesterday to West Palm Beach, part of a two-day swing through the nation’s biggest battleground state. Obama planned to campaign in Fort Myers and Orlando today, though he will instead address the Colorado shooting in Fort Myers and has canceled his Orlando-area event.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney “plans to turn Medicare into a voucher program,” Obama said. Romney has said that the 2010 health-care overhaul Obama signed into law includes $500 billion in Medicare benefit cuts. Politifact.com, a research project based in Tampa, Florida, said that Romney’s claim is “mostly false”  because the health law slows future growth in Medicare spending and doesn’t cut current benefits.

Here’s a look at some Bloomberg stories about the election and the economy:

FLORIDA FOCUS: Kate Andersen Brower has more about Obama’s swing through Florida, where he and Romney are in a close race for the state’s 29 electoral votes.

TAX DEBATE: As debate continues on extending Bush-era tax cuts that expire at year’s end, Richard Rubin looks at some of the rhetoric that Democrats and Republicans are employing to bolster their cases. The top 2 percent of taxpayers are neither millionaires nor primarily job-creators.

ROMNEY’S TAX RETURNS: A 54 percent majority believes that Romney should release additional tax returns, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll that Mark Silva analyzes.


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