GOP allows Dem's 'doc fix' amendment to repeal bill

Republicans on the House Rules Committee decided late Thursday night to allow debate on one Democratic amendment to the bill repealing the healthcare reform law.

The GOP, which has been promising a speedy process to repeal the reform law, allowed an amendment from Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), one of 13 surviving Democrats who voted against the healthcare overhaul last Congress. Meanwhile, Republicans rejected 30 other Democratic amendments.

Republicans wanted to avoid amendments that would require up-or-down votes on popular consumer protections included in the law, and Matheson’s amendment is far from controversial. It requires committees considering replacement pieces to the reform law to include a permanent fix to the Medicare payment physician formula.

Congress acted several times last year to stave off a delayed 25 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements to physicians. The most recent “doc fix” came in the lame-duck session and runs through the end of the year.

The House will vote next week on a bill repealing the reform law, as well as a resolution that instructs committees to replace the law with “common-sense solutions.”

Matheson will vote against the repeal bill, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Five other “no” Democrats told The Hill this week that they will also oppose the repeal bill.