Heller, Berkley Spar Over Medicare in Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Heller, Berkley Spar Over Medicare in Reno

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The battle for a Nevada Senate seat brought both Senator Dean Heller and Congresswoman Shelley Berkley to Reno Thursday.

Medicare was one hot topic in both camps-- the two candidates have been sparring over their stances on the subject in speeches and interviews.

Berkley claims that Heller would "dismantle" the program by voting for the Ryan budget plan, while Heller claims that Berkley is the only candidate in the Senate race who would make cuts to Medicare.

"He's got rock-solid votes that say that's what he's going to do," Berkley said in an interview with Channel 2, "and the result of his vote is that we would end Medicare as we know it, turn it over to private insurance companies."

"Clearly, none of that is true," Heller responded, when asked by Channel 2 reporters. "In fact, it was her that voted for $700 billion in cuts to Medicare and giving those cuts to Obamacare."

Heller spoke at a campaign rally in south Reno Thursday alongside Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who flew in to campaign on Heller's behalf.

Heller emphasized that voters should choose a Republican ticket, because he says the country needs to move in a different direction.

On Wednesday, Berkley made a stop in the Biggest Little City as part of her "Proud to Protect Medicare and Social Security" tour. She told the crowd that Medicare and Social Security are two programs the country can't afford to lose, and that voting Republican would jeopardize them.

When each candidate was asked why he or she deserves the votes of undecided Nevadans, these were their responses:

"In every room, whether it's in southern Nevada or northern Nevada, it is standing room only, because we need a new direction for this country," Heller said. "We need a new direction. What's going on in Washington, DC today is not working."

"I know nobody knows the issues better than I do," Berkley said. "Nobody works harder than I do, and nobody fights harder for her constituents than I do. I think those are characteristics that the people of Nevada appreciate."

Berkley continues her tour with a stop in Las Vegas Friday. Heller and Rubio attended an event at Lake Tahoe Thursday night.

Written by Arianna Bennett
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