House GOP pays for Medicare ‘doc fix’ with healthcare law repeal, means-testing

The House Republican payroll-tax-cut extension package proposes to pay for a two-year Medicare doc fix by repealing parts of the healthcare reform law and charging high-income seniors more for their Medicare coverage, according to a summary obtained by The Hill. 

The accuracy of the document, which is circulating widely among lobbyists, has not been confirmed by House leaders but is in line with what House Republicans have said they want in the package.

The proposal includes a two-year doc fix aimed at preventing a scheduled cut in physician payments of almost 30 percent on Jan. 1. The almost $39 billion price tag would be paid for by repealing unspecified parts of the healthcare reform law and other cuts to federal healthcare spending (saving $42.9 billion) and by means-testing Medicare (saving another $31 billion).

The proposed cuts to the healthcare law are expected to be rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate, with lawmakers left only with next week to find an acceptable compromise on how to pay for extending the payroll-tax cut and unemployment benefits and preventing the cuts to doctor payments before the end of the year. The total cost of the package is $192.5 billion, according to the document.