Reid suggests 'doc' fix,' COBRA amendments to extenders bill likely

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday that Democrats are likely to take up amendments extending the Medicare "doc fix" and COBRA health insurance subsidies for the uninsured when they bring up their substitute amendment to the tax extenders bill. 

Reid said a three-and-a-half-year "doc fix" is in the works to replace the 19-month fix that's currently in the Senate substitute and that the House passed just before the Memorial Day recess.

Under pay-go rules, lawmakers can pass a five-year, $88.5 billion "doc fix" without offsetting it with higher taxes or program cuts. A three-and-a-half-year "doc fix" under discussion in the House would have cost $65 billion but it was pared down to 19 months and $23 billion when fiscal conservatives rebelled. 

The COBRA subsidy, meanwhile, would have cost about $8 billion. It was stripped at the last minute from the tax extenders bill the House passed just before the Memorial Day recess.

  Cross-posted from Blog Briefing Room.