Senate Democrats had to delay votes on the first set of amendments to the healthcare bill in the face of stiff Republican opposition, the Los Angeles Times
reports. Party leaders, scrambling to pass a bill by Christmas, had hoped to approve a proposal to expand access to mammograms and other preventive services. Instead, lawmakers tussled over the bill's potential impact on Medicare, reports the Times
. Democratic leaders propose to offset the cost of expanding insurance coverage to some 31 million people in part by cutting future Medicare payments to hospitals, nursing homes, and other providers.