Key Negotiators Close To Agreement On Medicare Bill, Includes SCHIP Extension
Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Monday agreed on a Medicare package that would delay for six months a scheduled 10% reduction in Medicare physician fees, a Republican committee aide said, CQ Today reports. The fee cut is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2008. The lawmakers previously called for a one- or two-year fix of the physician fee cut, but "difficulty in finding ways to pay for the legislation, along with Senate Republican leadership's demand that the package be able to pass by unanimous consent, forced them to scale back their ambitions," according to CQ Today (Armstrong, CQ Today, 12/17).