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But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has insisted the Republican proposal isn’t up for discussion.

“What we’re talking about doing is not changing Medicare as we know it - that is, doing in a voucher system,” said Mr. Reid last week. “We’re not going to put up with that.”

Reid spokesman Jon Summers on Friday accused Mr. McConnell and his GOP colleagues of “holding the United States’ credit hostage to ram through their plan to end Medicare.”

“Voters have resoundingly rejected this ideological agenda. Republicans should drop it and move on,” Mr. Summers said.