Lawmakers propose a permanent 'doc fix'

"Now is the time to fix the broken system once and for all," Schwartz said in a statement. "For far too long we failed America's seniors and created a long-term fiscal nightmare for Medicare by maintaining the status quo."

In a conversation with reporters, Heck called the current reimbursement formula, known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), the "single greatest threat to Medicare."

"Members are tired of short-term packages," he said. "This is one of those things I believe can be done in an election year."

He added that the plan is "not a one-size-fits-all mandate to physicians" and cited a "broad swath of support" for the measure within the healthcare community.

The proposal instructs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to create new payment model options aimed at giving providers more flexibility based on specialty, region or type of practice.

Doctors who treat Medicare patients are scheduled to see a 30 percent cut to their reimbursements on Jan. 1, 2013, if Congress does not step in.

"With this bill, we are stepping away from across-the-board cuts," Schwartz said.