Originally published on February 13, 2013
Republicans in the House of Representatives will seek a permanent solution to scheduled steep cuts in physician payments from the federal Medicare health insurance plan for retirees and disabled people, a House committee chairman said on Wednesday.
Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told doctors he hopes to send so-called "Doc Fix" legislation to the House floor this summer that would repeal payment reductions enacted in 1997 as part of a law to balance the federal budget.
The 16-year-old "sustainable growth rate" (SGR) provision calls for reductions in doctor pay as a way to control spending by Medicare. Congress has prevented the SGR from taking effect through temporary measures, but that has run up the fiscal and political costs of finding a permanent solution.
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