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.Republicans seek to reassure elderly on Medicare/BED BUGS

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Republicans pushing deep cuts to government spending are seeking to reassure older Americans that their health insurance will remain intact even if Medicare is privatized.

Elderly voters could be pivotal in the 2012 election, where both Democrats and Republicans will be judged for proposed cuts to the federal health insurance program to reduce deficits.

President Barack Obama has proposed trims to the old-age benefits while denouncing as "radical" a Republican plan that would replace Medicare with vouchers giving recipients a fixed amount of money to buy private insurance.

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