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Long IslandPolitics

Steve Israel could lose Medicare as issue

Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) can't seem to catch a break on the Medicare message that many think could help him win House seats for Democrats as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The House GOP plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program helped the party win the 26th District upstate. But the message got upstaged -- first by ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal, and now by President Barack Obama agreeing to discuss Medicare cuts with Republicans. Israel pleaded privately with House Democrats on Friday to defend Medicare. A Democratic aide confirmed Israel cited polls showing the Medicare message's value and said it will be hard to recruit candidates without it.

-- Tom Brune in Washington

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