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Senate votes down GOP plan to strip Medicare cuts from bill

Washington Post, December 4, 2009

The Senate voted to reject a GOP proposal to strip the healthcare overhaul package of nearly $500 billion in Medicare cuts, its most important source of financing. On a vote of 58 to 42, the Senate defeated an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would have sent the bill back to committee with orders to remove the spending cuts. The healthcare bill would slow Medicare spending by about 5% over the next decade, and Republicans said that would decimate the program in order to finance insurance subsidies for younger people. The Senate also approved an amendment that would guarantee access to mammograms for women younger than 50.