By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DENVER -- President Barack Obama says Republican rival Mitt Romney would turn Medicare into a private system and put seniors at the mercy of insurance companies. Romney counters that the incumbent Democrat already has raided the Medicare fund and weakened the system.
Obama and Romney clashed Wednesday during their first presidential debate on the popular - though costly - health program for seniors. Both promised that they would not cut benefits for older Americans but sharply disagreed about options for younger workers.
Obama says he is cutting down on excessive payments in the system so the program survives for future generations.
Romney calls those cuts a slashing from seniors' care to pay for Democrats' health care law.
Romney, however, didn't mention that his running mate, Paul Ryan, proposed similar cuts.