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OPINION

N.Y. vote has GOP rethinking Medicare

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A day after watching Democrats use Republicans' Medicare plan to score an upset victory in a special congressional election in New York, the GOP regrouped, retooled its message and saw most of its troops rally behind the plan in a key test Senate vote.
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Democrats said the vote, which came on a budget that House Republicans wrote and passed last month, will become poisonous for the GOP. They hope to use it as a wedge issue in races across the country to reshape a difficult congressional election map for them in 2012.

"Senate Democrats will be able to play offense in races across the country by remaining focused on Republican efforts to end Medicare in order to pay for an almost 30 percent tax rate reduction for the wealthiest Americans and big corporations," Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the chairwoman of Senate Democrats' campaign committee, said hours before the test vote.

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