Drama Intensifies Over Doc-Fix
In the latest negotiations over a so-called “doc-fix,” Congressional leaders reportedly made some progress last week before the tone soured over the weekend. House Republicans have said they will accept an extension of the payroll tax cut without offsetting the loss in revenue from other sources. But they have not made the same concession when it comes to the “doc-fix,” which is necessary to avoid a 27.4% average cut to physician payments set to take place in March. The two sides were said to have reached agreement on extending unemployment benefits, the third major aspect of the measure currently being hashed out in a 20-member conference committee. Some Republicans have quietly voiced support for using war savings to offset Medicare payments, based on an article in Politico. The idea was first proposed by the American Medical Association. House Speaker John Boehner signaled over the payroll tax measure could get receive a vote sometime this week while they work out the other portions of the bill before the end of the month, based on an article at TheHill.com. On Monday, House leaders announced they were seeking a contingency plan should negotiations break down, according to ABC News.