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John McCain takes on Bill Nelson

A fiery John McCain took to the Senate floor to offer a health care amendment -- and tweaked  Bill Nelson in the process. The Arizona Republican said his amendment would send the Senate health care bill back to committee to grandfather in all enrollees in the Medicare Advantage programs -- Nelson and a number of Democrats successfully negotiated grandfather clauses for seniors in their states in exchange for supporting the bill.

"I want the same protections extended to all seniors," McCain said. "No special deals for any constituents that is related to the state in which they reside or the influence of their elected representatives."

Quoting Nelson as saying he was trying to grandfather in seniors "so they don't lose the benefits they have," McCain said, "Well, I'm trying to carry out Senator Nelson's ambition."

And ouch -- McCain noted that Nelson's deal with Senate leaders doesn't cover every Floridian on Medicare Advantage, charging that Nelson "was willing to leave 150,000 beneficiaries subject to Medicare Advantage cuts."

McCain's amendment is unlikely to fly. Democrats and the White House have targeted Medicare Advantage programs as a source of savings, as the premiums paid by the government are generally about 14 percent more than traditional plans.

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