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Senate turns to Medicare, Medicaid

Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2009

Senate Democrats are considering a significant expansion of Medicare and Medicaid as part of a package of potential changes to health-overhaul legislation that would also sharply scale back a proposed new government-run insurance plan, the Wall Street Journal reports. The proposals have emerged in closed-door negotiations among 10 Democratic senators assigned by party leaders to break the political deadlock that has slowed Senate action on the health bill. Negotiators were considering a proposal that would open Medicare to people ages 55 to 64 if they couldn't find coverage elsewhere. The proposal would allow them to buy insurance coverage at subsidized rates under Medicare, though the subsidies wouldn't be as great as those for people 65 and over, reports the Journal.