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GOP Medicare plan emerges as a flashpoint in Florida Senate race

The House's controversial Republican budget plan, one that would dramatically revamp Medicare, emerged as a flash point in Florida’s Republican Senate primary Wednesday even as Democrats pointed to the plan as a factor in helping them win a House seat.

Democrats seized a surprising victory in upstate New York as evidence that their intense campaign against the House Medicare plan is working. But Republicans in Florida looked to double down on support for the plan and it emerged as an issue in the competitive Republican primary for Senate, with Adam Hasner, looking to appeal to conservatives in the GOP base by challenging his rivals to embrace the plan. Hasner said his only criticism would be that the plan "just doesn’t go far enough, fast enough." Rival George LeMieux, praised the House plan, but said he preferred his own plan which he said would balance the budget faster.

Senate president Mike Haridopolos has praised the budget plan but wouldn’t say Wednesday whether or not he’d vote for it.

Democrats signaled they planned to make Republican support for the measure an issue in senior-rich Florida.

"'This is not what the public wants, and if Adam Hasner, George LeMieux and Mike Haridopolos didn’t get that message last night, they will certainly hear it next November," a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said.

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