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Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:21 AM

Congress confronts Medicare cuts to doctors' fees


Congress confronts Medicare cuts to doctors' fees
Associated Press
March 21, 2014 Updated 3 minutes ago

WASHINGTON Hope is fading for a Capitol Hill drive to permanently fix Medicare's outdated payment formula and spare doctors from automatic cuts in their fees next month. Now the question is whether lawmakers can regroup and come up with a short-term solution when the current patch expires.

Even though there's widespread support for bipartisan legislation to repair, once and for all, the broken Medicare formula it threatens doctors with a 24 percent cut in their Medicare payments there's no agreement on how to bear the 10-year, $140 billion cost.

A bill in the GOP-controlled House that combines the so-called doc fix with a delay in imposing penalties on individuals who fail to purchase health care under the health care law is dead in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Without the individual mandate, fewer people would enroll in the program, generating $170 billion in savings over 10 years.

In the Senate, meanwhile, a bill to address the problem is likely to be killed by Republicans because it won't be paid for. There has been discussion of claiming savings from reduced war spending, but Republicans and most budget experts regard that as a phony reduction.


I have a few suggestions to pay for Medicare:

1. Stop building the $40 billion dollar USS Gerald R Ford.
2. Stop building $500 million dollar Littoral Combat Ships (aka Target Barges).
3. Stop building $7 billion dollar submarines.
4. Stop building 1/4 of a billion dollar F-35s.
5. Stop building (fill in the blank).

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unhappycamper Mar 2014 OP
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