Reid sets up ‘doc fix’ vote for Monday

The Senate won’t vote on a bill that prevents a pending cut to Medicare physician rates until the day of the deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set up a vote on the “doc fix” for Monday. For the fix to be approved, it will have to get 60 votes.

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Earlier Thursday, the House approved a doc fix bill by voice vote. The bill would prevent a 24 percent cut to those rates set to hit on April 1 without congressional action.

Reid said he would have preferred to pass a full repeal of the Medicare sustainability growth rate (SGR) pay-for rather than a 13-month extension that isn’t paid for.

“The patch that we have is imperfect, but it is something that will take care of things,” Reid said. “I am disappointed we didn’t get a permanent fix, but we should be very happy about what we have done.”

Reid said efforts would continue on a “permanent repeal of SGR” and that he supported the plan put forward by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that is paid for using Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds.

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