Saved again

Medicare had scheduled a 4.4% cut in physician fees for next year. It’s an annual ritual. For the last 4 years, cuts have been scheduled but then have turned into small increases after intense lobbying. (Five years ago there really was a decrease.)

For a while it looked like the 2006 cut was going to happen, but about a month ago that changed as the Bush Administration signaled its support for a reversal of the scheduled cut. Now it’s getting closer to being official. In a 51-50 vote –settled by VP Dick Cheney– the Senate voted to reduce the Medicare and Medicaid budgets but to freeze physician fees rather than reducing them. The House still has to finalize the move.

December 21, 2005

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