Florida, Ohio and Pa. have biggest stakes in Medicare battle


GOP vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan brings a controversial Medicare plan to the 2012 campaign. No swing state relies on Medicare more than Florida.

When Mitt Romney barnstorms Florida Monday, he will wade into a state where the Medicare debate carries the highest stakes.

No battleground state in the 2012 presidential election relies more heavily on Medicare than Florida does. With Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate on the Republican ticket, the Wisconsin congressman’s plan to transform Medicare has quickly become one of the hottest topics in the campaign.

Where will the Medicare debate matter most? Here’s a chart of each swing state’s reliance on Medicare as a share of personal income.

It’s probably no surprise that Florida, a retiree favorite, tops the list with a 5.8 percent share, according to statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Pennsylvania and Ohio finish second and third. Colorado, where Medicare accounts for less than 3 percent of income, trails the pack. (You can find a chart with all of the states below. That charts use an average of 2009 and 2010 Medicare totals. The 2011 figures are not yet available.)

The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine tracks South Florida’s recovery from the Great Recession. For analysis of the latest economic statistics, visit

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