By Vicki Needham - 06/18/10 01:00 AM EDT
Reid attempted to pass several targeted bills Thursday to avoid Medicare payment cuts to doctors and provide for extended unemployment benefits and matching payments to states for Medicaid. He also tried to pass a bipartisan measure that would extend for three months the closing deadline on purchases of houses that are eligible for the homebuyers tax credit, which expired April 30.
The second version of the Baucus legislation cuts an extra $25 from weekly unemployment benefits checks, part of the February 2009 economic stimulus, saving $5.8 billion.
Another $16.4 billion is saved by postponing the Medicare payment cuts to doctors through November, instead of the 19 months included in the House-passed measure. The doc fix expires on Friday, meaning doctors would see a 21 percent pay cut for doctors.
The House passed a $115 billion version of the measure before the Memorial Day recess as two separate bills — one with all of the tax extenders and unemployment benefits and another that dealt with the $23 billion Medicare doc fix that would last 19 months.