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) -- The Senate Wednesday voted against a budget resolution sent over from the House of Representatives with Republican plans to extensively revamp the Medicare health care program the key point of contention.

The proposal was subjected to a yes-no vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate and lost 57-40, according to

The New York Times

, with five Republicans crossing the aisle, including Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Ron Paul of Kentucky.

The news comes after the Republicans lost a House seat on Tuesday when a special election in New York was won by Kathy Hocul with the issue of overhauling Medicare playing a key part in the campaign.

"Democrats in Congress - and even some candid Republicans - know the Republican plan to kill Medicare is irresponsible and indefensible," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada in a


on his Web site earlier on Wednesday. "Last night, voters showed the country and the Congress they know it, too."

Hocul defeated Jane Corwin in Tuesday's election to represent a district in western New York that has a long history of voting Republican, a point that Reid stressed in his comments.

"What's telling is not just that voters rejected this plan," he said. "It's that the Republican candidate pushing the Republican plan to kill Medicare was rejected in a very Republican district. The district, which stretches from Buffalo to Rochester, has been in Republican hands for four decades."


Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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