Democratic Rep. Bill Owens' campaign is pressuring its Republican opponent, Matt Doheny, to open up about what he'd like to do for the Medicare program.
The campaign launched a "Matt Doheny Medicare Countdown" clock that shows how long it's been since Mr. Doheny said in a Times interview that the campaign would discuss Medicare and other pressing issues throughout the campaign.
It's been 337 days, 10 hours, 51 minutes and 13 seconds, as of my writing this. Fourteen, sorry.
Also, when you think about it, this Mediscare tactic is not really a countdown. It's a count up.
His campaign has declined to make him available for an interview with me on the subject, and didn't have much to say about it to Maury Thompson of the Glens Falls Post-Star when Maury caught up with him.
Medicare has taken on added significance in Nov. 6 congressional races like this one by virtue of the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., as Mitt Romney's running mate against President Obama.
Mr. Ryan has proposed giving future seniors the option of a plan that would help seniors pay for premiums on a government-regulated private market; they could also stay in the traditional Medicare program.
Current seniors or anyone within 10 years of eligibility age wouldn't be affected. Republicans say the plan could help save Medicare, which could go insolvent in the not too distant future, but Democrats like Mr. Owens say the program will leave seniors paying more.
The Doheny campaign fires back, via a Jude Seymour email:
"We can count too. It's been 887 days since Bill Owens voted to cut Medicare by more than $700 billion dollars, and put 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of deciding which seniors receive care and which do not.
"Owens also claimed to have read the 2,700 page Obamacare bill before voting on it - and then admitted he voted for new taxes that will kill jobs in this district. These job losses will be on top of the 5,200 we’ve already lost in this region since he’s been a Congressman.
"Matt Doheny is committed to keeping our promise to current beneficiaries and soon-to-be recipients, while working toward a strong, secure future for Medicare. He looks forward to sharing his ideas as our campaign unfolds."
Democrats have called into question the "cut" and "15 unelected bureaucrats" claim.