KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Failure To Fix Medicare Doctor Payments Highlights Perennial Problem

NPR reports on Senate Democrats' failed attempt to fix Medicare's perennial problem of threatening to cut doctor pay. "Just about every year a formula glitch threatens to cut payments to doctors who treat seniors and the disabled," according to NPR. "And just about every year Congress cancels the cut. This year lawmakers are complaining about the bill because it's not paid for. But, despite what both Republicans and Democrats are claiming, that's nothing new."

The Senate Democrat bill "couldn't even make it to the Senate floor - it fell short on its first procedural test last Wednesday by 13 votes. The reason cited by virtually every opponent was that the bill's $250 billion, ten-year cost wasn't paid for with other spending cuts or increased taxes" (Rovner, 10/25).

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