As Democrats demand tax concessions from Republicans to avert a collision over the federal budget, Senate Democratic leaders are signaling that they may be willing to trade an entitlement spending overhaul to secure a deficit- reduction deal.

Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, said he might reluctantly be open to expanding means- testing for Medicare eligibility -- charging more to higher- income seniors. New York Senator Chuck Schumer said he wouldn’t rule out changing entitlements, challenging Republicans to come up with specific proposals.