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Senate Candidates Sherrod Brown, Josh Mandel See Tough Choices

Their views on Social Security and Medicare

Mandel said young people "deserve the opportunity to have more say in how their money is invested."

Brown said Social Security should "never be privatized."

He said Medicare can be strengthened by increasing consumer access to generic drugs, reimporting safe drugs from places like Canada and allowing the federal government to negotiate volume discounts on prescription drugs for Medicare participants.

He cosponsored several bills that aim to bring down the cost of Medicare through prescription drug savings. For example, one would establish a Medicare-operated prescription drug plan to compete with private options currently offered.

Brown also supports allowing the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices for seniors, like the Department of Veterans Affairs does for veterans.

Mandel: We need change

The greatest threat to Social Security and Medicare, Mandel said, is keeping the status quo.

"The policies enacted by Washington politicians have put Social Security and Medicare on a path toward insolvency," he said.

In order to save them, "we need to change Washington," he said. "In order to change Washington, we need to change the people we send there."

He did not list specific changes he would endorse for Medicare.

Brown, 59, served in the U.S. House and Ohio General Assembly and was Ohio secretary of state.

Mandel, who turns 35 this month, is the state treasurer and served in the Ohio General Assembly.

Sarah Hollander is a writer living in Cleveland.

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Members of Congress are looking at ways to strengthen Medicare's finances from raising the elgibility age to raising premiums for high income seniors.

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