Senate Bill Would Delay Medicare Cut 1 Year
Yesterday the Senate passed a bill that would delay the perpetually looming cut in Medicare reimbursement to physicians by 1 whole year. This proposed delay is distinct from Congress’s previous bandaid measures to stave off the SGR-defined drop in Medicare reimbursement, which have lasted anywhere from 1 to 6 months, iirc. (The most recent bill to postpone the cut was passed earlier this month. If Congress hadn’t acted, Medicare reimbursement to physicians would have dropped by 25% on January 1st of 2011.)
According to the intrepid Robert Lowes, writing for Medscape, the House is now expected to pass the Senate’s new legislation, which had bipartisan support. The total cost of the bill, which addresses a few other Medicare and government-insurance issues, exceeds $19 billion. But the lion’s share of that, nearly $15 billion, represents the so-called Medicare “doc fix.”
Sponsors of the bill say that its cost will be taken care of by an amendment to PPACA, or the part of PPACA that concerns thresholds for tax credits to those who would be legally mandated to buy health insurance (in 2014).
SGR = sustainable growth rate.
Photo of weathered can from magannie at Flickr.