VP Biden Says He and President Want to Strengthen Medicare

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (AP) _ Vice President Joe Biden says changes to Medicare proposed by congressional Republicans would jeopardize guaranteed health care for millions of older Americans.

Biden says in excerpts released Friday in advance of a South Florida speech that the plan would dismantle Medicare as it’s now known.

Biden says he and President Barack Obama want to strengthen the program, not end it.

The House GOP budget would change Medicare by providing a payment for future retirees now 54 or younger to pick their own health insurance through a new Medicare exchange system.

Higher-income beneficiaries also would pay higher premiums.

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wrote in a newspaper opinion piece Friday that Medicare will go broke without reforms.

Rubio also says higher taxes are not the answer to saving the program.