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Originally published Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 12:31 PM

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Dems defeat GOP on restoring $40B in Medicare cuts

Senate Democrats have defeated a GOP attempt to eliminate $40 billion in cuts to home health care services in the health overhaul bill.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

Senate Democrats have defeated a GOP attempt to eliminate $40 billion in cuts to home health care services in the health overhaul bill.

The 53-41 vote Saturday came during a rare weekend session to debate President Barack Obama's health legislation.

The vote was the latest Republican attempt to showcase the $460 billion in cuts to projected Medicare spending that Democrats want to make. Democrats plan to use that money to extend coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans over the next decade.

Democrats say their cuts would make Medicare stronger by eliminating overpayments and waste, and extending the program's long-term solvency.

Republicans say Democrats are using Medicare as a piggy bank to create a vast new entitlement program.

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