Negotiators eye short-term and long-term 'doc fix' options

Published on December 20, 2012 at 6:13 AM · No Comments

Single-year and two-year fixes to the "sustainable growth rate" formula -- or even a permanent fix -- are floated as the White House and congressional republicans continue negotiations over taxes and spending.

Politico Pro: House GOP Looking At Two-Year 'Doc Fix'
House Republicans are looking at a two-year reprieve from the Medicare physician payment cuts as House Speaker John Boehner puts together a plan B in the fiscal cliff negotiations, according to sources familiar with the leadership efforts. The "doc fix" would be paid for by recapturing more tax subsidies from the health law's insurance exchanges, according to a GOP aide familiar with the discussions. Boehner told Republicans on Tuesday that he plans to move a bill that would hike tax rates on incomes of more than $1 million. It would keep the Bush-era tax rates for people making less than $1 million. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already said the plan won't pass the Senate (Haberkorn, 12/18).

Modern Healthcare: White House Calls For Healthcare Cuts, Permanent SGR Fix
The White House has called for a permanent-;not temporary-;fix to Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula and about $400 billion in healthcare cuts, according to a source familiar with the fiscal-cliff negotiations. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), however, was generally dismissive of the president's new proposal, signaling that a permanent fix to the physician payment system is still not within reach. During a news conference in the Capitol, Boehner said the GOP leadership plans to introduce a bill this week that would extend current tax rates for Americans who make $1 million or less, but Boehner stopped short of saying whether that legislation would include a temporary fix to Medicare's physician payment formula (Zigmond, 12/18).

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