No surprise, but the House followed the Senate and approved a 1-month delay in the 23% physician fee cut called for by Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate. President Obama signed the bill, but everyone’s expecting a repeat of the drill in a few weeks. Otherwise, the 23% figure climbs to 25% on Jan. 1.
Short-term delays in those SGR cuts have become a kind of theater that’s getting acted out with increasing frequency. But at least one Republican, Rep. Michael Burgess (Texas), says that it’s more than time for an end to the procrastination on figuring out a better payment method. Rep. Burgess stands to take over a significant subcommittee in January, and says he expects to start holding hearings on health reform and the SGR within a few days of being sworn in.
Hear what the congressman has to say, along with a report on the president’s deficit commission and the legal challenges to health reform in this week’s podcast.
–Alicia Ault (on Twitter @aliciaault)