The Senate unanimously passed a one-year “SGR doc-fix” on Wednesday, December 8, 2010, preventing a 25 percent cut to Medicare payments that would commence on January 1, 2011. The measure would extend through 2011 the current reimbursement rates for physicians who treat Medicare patients.
The $19.3 billion bill still needs to be approved by the House before Congress recesses for the holidays. House approval is expected.
The bill would be paid for by changing a provision of the health reform act that provides tax credits for individuals who purchase coverage. The credit is scaled to a person’s income. The legislation would increase the amount individuals would be required to repay if they underestimate their earnings.
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