Democrats in Senate Ready to Vote Down Republican Medicare Program

By: ANDREW TAYLOR - Associated Press Writer
By: ANDREW TAYLOR - Associated Press Writer

The Democratic-run Senate is ready to vote down a controversial House budget plan that calls for turning Medicare into a voucher-like program for future beneficiaries.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said the vote was likely to take place Wednesday afternoon.

Reid wants to put Republicans on record regarding a plan by Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan that would transform Medicare into a program in which future beneficiaries, people now 54 years old and younger, would be given a subsidy to purchase health insurance rather than have the government directly pay hospital and doctor bills.

Democrats say the plan would "end Medicare as we know it" and the proposal was a big factor in a special election Tuesday in which Democrats seized a longtime GOP district in western New York.

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