Doc Fix' Deal Opens Health Battles Ahead


By Melissa Attias

Congress may have finally put an end to the cycle of 17 short-tem “doc fixes” with the passage of legislation that would change the way Medicare pays doctors. But the bill’s handling, or sidestepping, of other programs sets the stage for future fights.

The Senate cleared the package to replace Medicare’s sustainable growth rate formula late Tuesday in a 92-8 vote and President Barack Obama said in a statement that he “will be proud to sign it into law.” While most physician lobbyists are basking in their successful effort to do away with the SGR, it won’t be long before those groups and other players turn to issues that are still unresolved...

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