WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has taken the first steps toward finalizing a 2,000-page health care overhaul bill, casting its first votes on revamping the health care system.
In a 58-42 vote, the chamber rejected Sen. John McCain's effort to strip the legislation of more than $400 billion in Medicare cuts. The amendment would have sent the bill back to the Senate Fiance Committee for a redo.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell says the cuts amount to raiding Medicare "to create another new government program."
Democrats say seniors woun't lose any guaranteed benefits.
A second vote approved an amendment that seeks to safeguard coverage for mammograms and other preventive tests for women.
Next up is a provision to restrict abortion funding, except in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. The amendment looms as a major challenge for Democrats.