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George Allen, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Virginia, has declined repeatedly to indicate whether he firmly supports the Medicare reform proposal being championed by his party’s vice-presidential nominee-in-waiting. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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George Allen, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Virginia, has declined repeatedly to indicate whether he firmly supports the Medicare reform proposal being championed by his party’s vice-presidential nominee-in-waiting. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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A group of belly dancers in favor of Medicare for all perform outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 28, 2012, before a landmark decision on health care. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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Illustration Medicare-less by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

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**FILE** Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** In this April 12, 2012, file photo, former Medicare Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick gestures during an interview with the Associated Press, in Washington. Tossing out President Barack Obama’s health care law would have major unintended consequences for Medicare’s payment systems, unseen but vital plumbing that handles 100 million monthly claims from hospitals and other service providers, the administration has quietly informed the courts. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

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** FILE ** In this April 12, 2012, file photo, former Medicare Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick gestures during an interview with the Associated Press, in Washington. Tossing out President Barack Obama’s health care law would have major unintended consequences for Medicare’s payment systems, unseen but vital plumbing that handles 100 million monthly claims from hospitals and other service providers, the administration has quietly informed the courts. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

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Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator for Medicare, said a yearlong competitive-bidding program targeting waste and fraud has been a "clear success." (Department of Health and Human Services via Associated Press)

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Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator for Medicare, said a yearlong competitive-bidding program targeting waste and fraud has been a "clear success." (Department of Health and Human Services via Associated Press)

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Medicare Fraud Compet_Live_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

Medicare deputy administrator Jonathan Blum (Associated Press/Department of Health and Human Services)

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Medicare deputy administrator Jonathan Blum (Associated Press/Department of Health and Human Services)

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** FILE ** Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, introduces a plan on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, to overhaul Medicare. The proposal would have the federal program competing with private plans. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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Daniel R. Levinson, inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (center), along with HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr and U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana, speaks about federal charges in what the officials called the largest case of Medicare fraud in U.S. history. (AP Photo/L.M. Otero)

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Sen. Thomas R. Carper, Delaware Democrat, is disappointed with the new $77 million computer system to detect Medicare fraud before money is paid out. (Associated Press)

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A conference committee of senators and congressmen — including Sen. Ben Cardin, left, Maryland Democrat; Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat; Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican; and Sen. Mike Crapo, Idaho Republican — meet Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, in the House Visitors Center in Washington, D.C., to discuss resolving the differences on payroll tax relief, unemployment insurance, Medicare physicians payment fix and other items. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, has developed a proposal with Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, that would keep traditional Medicare as an option, competing with private plans. People now 55 or older wouldn't have to make any changes. (Associated Press)

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House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, has teamed with Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, to offer offering seniors a choice between private plans and a traditional Medicare plan. (Associated Press)

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Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the top Republican budget writer in the House, has a new plan for Medicare - devised with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon - that would set up a regulated competition with private insurance. (Associated Press)

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"We are excited about being able to offer people better Medicare at less cost. That just makes sense," said Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (Associated Press)