GOP To Pitch ‘Doc Fix’ As Part Of Payroll Tax Cut Extension Plan
House Speaker John Boehner is readying fellow Republicans on a plan to extend a payroll tax cut by sweetening the pot with cuts to the health law, among other measures. The plan, if it passes the House, would almost certainly be opposed by Senate Democrats.
The Los Angeles Times: Boehner Defies Obama Veto Threat With New Payroll Tax Plan
The package Boehner has been compiling for more than a week was not made publicly available, but it includes the payroll tax holiday as well as an extension of long-term unemployment benefits, which also run out Dec. 31, and a routine pay rate adjustment for doctors who treat Medicare patients. Part of the problem for Republicans has been how to offset the costs (Mascaro, 12/8).
Politico: John Boehner's Last Stand On Payroll Tax Cut Extension
The speaker has tossed in a series of sweeteners to get the GOP to support the payroll tax: ... slicing money out of Obama's health care law and limiting the Medicare benefits the wealthy can get. ... Boehner's hope is that the Senate and Obama accept the right-leaning bill. And when they don't — Democrats are sure to remove most of those prized items — the speaker will have to rely on enough Republicans backing a final compromise (Sherman and Raju, 12/8).
The New York Times: Republicans Unveil Plan For Payroll Tax
The House Republican plan, among other things, would increase premiums for affluent Medicare beneficiaries, end food stamps and unemployment insurance benefits for millionaires, sell some federal assets, freeze the pay of federal employees, including members of Congress, and reduce the number of federal workers by about 10 percent through attrition (Steinhauer and Pear, 12/8).
The Washington Post: Senate Rejects Proposals To Slash Federal Payroll Taxes
The House bill would also wrap in other legislation that both parties say Congress must consider before the end of the year, including an extension of unemployment benefits and an adjustment for two years of scheduled cuts in payments paid to Medicare providers (Helderman and Sonmez, 12/8).
The Wall Street Journal: GOP Ties Reducing Payroll Tax To Pipeline
In addition to extending the tax cut, the Boehner plan would provide doctors a 1 percent increase in their Medicare fees for 2012 and 2013 (Bendavid and Hook, 12/9).
Modern Healthcare: House GOP Agrees To Doc Pay-Rate Extension, Gingrey Says
House Republican leaders have agreed to include a two-year extension of the current Medicare physician pay rates, including a 1 percent increase, in a large legislative package primarily aimed at extending an expiring payroll tax cut, according to a Republican health care leader (Daly, 12/8).
CQ HealthBeat: House GOP Doc Fix Provision Hits Up Health Care Law For Offsets
Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., said the [two-year Medicare physician payment] patch would block a 27 percent cut in payments to doctors scheduled for Jan. 1 and replace it with a 1 percent increase in reimbursements in 2012 and 2013 (Reichard and Ethridge, 12/8).
The Associated Press: Obama, GOP Skirmish On Payroll Tax Cut Both Favor
President Barack Obama vowed to delay Congress' year-end vacation as well as his own Thursday for "as long as it takes" to extend Social Security payroll tax cuts and long-term jobless benefits ... Obama drew a somewhat indistinct line on Wednesday when he said,"efforts to tie a whole bunch of other issues to what's something that they should be doing anyway will be rejected by me" (Espo, 12/8).