KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

‘Doc Fix’ Cost: $25 Billion For One Year, CBO Says

The Hill reports that delaying a scheduled pay cut for one year to doctors who treat Medicare patients would cost $25 billion.

The Hill: CBO: 'Doc Fix' Costs Rise To $25 Billion
A one-year "doc fix" has gotten nearly $7 billion more expensive, according to new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, obtained by The Hill. Doctors are scheduled to see a 26.5 percent drop in their Medicare payments at the end of the year unless Congress steps in to delay the cut, as it does every year. Delaying the cut and freezing doctors' payments for one year would cost $25 billion, according to CBO's latest estimates -- up from $18.5 billion in its last projection (Baker, 11/20).

Meanwhile, the food stamp program is coming under some congressional scrutiny, Politico reports.

Politico: Food Stamp Eligibility At Issue In Congress
The share of food stamp benefits going to American households with gross incomes over 130 percent of poverty has more than doubled in the past four years, according to the most recent data compiled by the Agriculture Department and released Tuesday. The 130 percent cap -- about $28,680 for a family of four in recent years -- dates back to the early 1980s. But it has been increasingly ignored by cash-strapped governors trying to help working-class households in hard economic times. As the federal costs mount, there is more pushback from Republicans in Congress (Rogers, 11/20).

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