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    Conservatives Vent on House Vote for Medicare ‘Doc Fix’ [VIDEO]

    House conservatives were put off by leadership’s hastily scrambled voice vote to prevent deep cuts in reimbursement to physicians who treat Medicare patients, several lawmakers said today. Speaking at the monthly Conversations with Conservatives panel,  Republican members of the House of Representatives argued that their leadership had promised them a … More

    A Voice Vote Should Not Look or Feel Like an End Run

    Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4302, a bill preventing a 24 percent cut in what physicians are paid under Medicare for 12 months. It’s the annual “doc fix” dance. On the bill’s merits, Heritage health scholar Robert Moffit gave careful review of the legislation yesterday. Essentially, The Heritage … More

    A Temporary Medicare SGR “Patch” Is Better Than Permanent Deficits

    House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) have just reached an agreement on a temporary, 12-month Medicare “doc fix” that would block a 24 percent cut in Medicare physician payment, which was scheduled to go into effect on April 1. It would also keep Medicare … More

    Medicare: An Irresponsible "Doc Fix" Could Cost $2.3 Trillion—or More

    Flawed solutions to complex health policy problems can be very costly. Scrutinize, therefore, the congressional compromise legislation (H.R. 4015 and S. 2000) to repeal the unworkable Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, which updates Medicare payments to physicians. The initial 10-year cost of the SGR repeal legislation would be $138 billion, … More

    Medicare Advantage Survives—for Now

    There seems to be much confusion surrounding the recent drama of Medicare Advantage’s (MA) 2014 payment rate. Here’s what happened: In February, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its advance notice of estimates of the national per capita Medicare Advantage (MA) growth percentage, which is a key … More

    How to Fix the Medicare Physician Payment Problem

    The congressional formula that determines the annual Medicare payment update for physicians, the sustainable growth rate (SGR), was supposed to cut Medicare doctors’ pay each year starting in 2002. But that congressional formula is so flawed and unworkable that every year since 2003, Congress has stepped in to stop it … More

    Congressional Budget Office Shows Senate Bill Is $600 Billion Tax Hike

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just now released its score of the bill the Senate passed early this morning while everyone was celebrating the beginning of the New Year. Despite knowing for a long time that taxes would go up on all Americans today, the Senate waited until we technically went … More

    Morning Bell: What IS the Fiscal Cliff?

    With just a few weeks left in 2012, all eyes in Washington are on Capitol Hill and the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. As usual, Congress and the President are taking highly contentious issues down to the wire before cutting a deal—never a situation that ends well for taxpayers. Federal Reserve Chairman … More

    The "Doc Fix" Dilemma Calls for Immediate Medicare Reforms

    Once again, Congress is scrambling to stop a scheduled 27 percent payment cut to physicians who serve Medicare patients. This frequent exercise serves as a perfect example for the need to move Medicare away from its current price control model toward a market-based, premium support model. Congress should take immediate action … More

    Doctors Need a Permanent Fix to the Medicare Payment Mess

    This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider solutions to Medicare’s flawed physician payment scheme. Physician payment is annually updated on the basis of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), a special economic formula which, as configured today, would result in deep annual payment cuts. This directly threatens seniors’ … More