November 19th, 2009
05:15 PM ET
10 years ago

House passes 'doc fix' bill previously defeated in Senate

Washington (CNN) - The House voted Thursday to prevent cuts in coming years in Medicare reimbursements to doctors.

However, the so-called "doc fix" bill was defeated earlier this year in the Senate, which is unlikely to reconsider the measure until after it completes work on an overall health care reform bill.

The House approved the $210 billion bill on a 243-183 vote, mostly on partisan lines. Democrats called it a necessary step to address an annual problem under a 1997 formula that limits increases in Medicare reimbursement costs.

Each year, Congress has voted to override the formula to prevent a cut in the money reimbursed to doctors providing Medicare services. For 2010, doctors face a 21 percent cut in reimbursements without a congressional remedy. The doc-fix bill would replace the old formula as a permanent solution for the recurring funding issue.

Republicans called the bill a budget buster that would raise the federal deficit by more than $200 billion. They accused Democrats of separating the bill from the larger health care reform legislation as a political trick to hold down the cost of the more comprehensive health care measure.

The doc-fix legislation was considered an important incentive for the American Medical Association to support the overall health care reform bill.

Democratic leaders wanted House approval for the bill to signal the AMA of their intention to continue pushing for it despite the earlier defeat in the Senate.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom

    You know what's very funny about the Medicare scare from the GOP???

    Its that when the DEMOCRATS proposed Medicare in the 60's, the GOP called it.......... socialism! Now..... they defend it! Hypocrites!

    November 19, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. O-BOW-MA

    How are we gonna pay for this socialized medicine of Democrats? In 2015 alone according to your news in CNN MONEY we'd paying AT LEAST $533 billion for INTEREST of our debt; that's just the interest principal is NOT included.


    November 19, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. O-BOW-MA

    What part of WE ARE BROKE! democrats do not understand? Does China need to slap us around again to remind us they OWN USA? This administration is printing money out of style, latest news US DOLLAR IS TANKING, it won't be long now we'll use a wheelbarrow to carry our money to buy a thimble of milk.

    November 19, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. Mike Decker

    What about "doctors will not take medicare/medicaid patients if they don't get paid" don't YOU understand? Get us out of needless wars and we can talk about poor spending habits.

    November 19, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. ange1

    The equation is actually quite simple. 20% cut in Medicare payments to doctors=doctors won't take Medicare. We'll go the dentists formula...patients are responsible for ALL of the bill and they can then file for reimbursement from their insurance company/Medicare.

    If you want to decrease Medicare payments to providers, then you HAVE TO allow "balance billing" for those providers who choose to accept Medicare/Medicaid. By that I mean as it stands now, if my charges are 100$ and Medicare only pays 40$, then I have to bend over and take it like a man. I then have to see 2-3 times/ as many patients to cover my cost (rent,medical supplies, income, staff salaries etc, student loan payments=6 figures). If there is balance billing, I can say that I'll take Medicare payment as a portion of my overall charge and the patient is responsible for some portion of the difference

    November 19, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. rachel

    Very Very scary. You want to want to start taxing people NOW for benifts they wont see for years. Sort of like Calinfornia reaching into the pocket of it's residents and tax more state taxes WITHOUT consent kind of scary how much control government has over people


    November 19, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. rachel

    Also isn't it funny they are gonna do the vote on Saturday? love to do things like this on the weekend.

    November 19, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. Enough is enough

    First we were told unless they passed the $800 billion stimulus package last winter unemployment would go over 8%. They got their stimulus and now unemployment is at 10.2% and still climbing. And we are supposed to now believe Obama, Pelosi and Reid know what they are doing with health care? What happened to the 2006 Pelosi/Reid promise of give them control of Congress and the deficit would not grow? They have tripled the deficit in a year under the Obamageddon policies

    November 19, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. [R]s are Dumbasrocks

    What part of THE HEALTH CARE BILL WIILL REDUCE DEFICITS! do [R]s not understand? You need to listen, read, and get some facts....and not just parrot the shrill drivel spewing from Rush everyday. Under the new health care bill, maybe you neo-morons on the right will get some sorely-needed genetic testing done; something very low has contaminated the gene pool. There is something very under-intellectual, sub-human about the [R] base. It is a testament to the LIBERAL nature of our constitution that these people are allowed to vote at all.

    November 19, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    This is how politicians work. Just to get some bit of waste-of-money legislation passed, they'll yell about how it's going to somehow "save money," but then they'll pass some other bit of legislation just to go back to wasting the money they're claiming to save.

    I'm beginning to think politicians never tell the truth. At least, not all of it. It's always some kind of con job; they're always trying to convince us we can get all this cool government stuff "free," that they'll save money somewhere else, that they'll tax someone else, but it always turns out to be a lie.

    November 19, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. S.B.

    I think it's important that doctors receive reasonable reimbursement for seeing Medicare and Medicaid patients, and a 21% cut sounds pretty unreasonable. It sounds like the GOP wants to punish the doctors when it's their ridiculous spending on 2 unnecessary wars at the same time that they approved huge tax cuts for the rich that has gotten us into this fiscal mess.

    November 19, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. Sam

    America cannot be competitive with other nations who have a healthcare systems that are superiour to the American system. Many international businesses choose not to operate in the United States because of the overpriced healthcare insurance. I believe it costs a business $32 per hour to employee a $16 per hour worker, the money not going to the employee goes to the healthcare insurance provider. Some say that the average American pays $12,680 per year for healthcare insurance while other countries pay significantly less because the government of other countries protects the wealth of its citizens to a certain degree while the American government allows big business to run rampant over the money that should go to workers, you know, like paying $10 per gallon of gas so financial speculators could make staggering profits from speculating in oil futures. Same thing with healthcare insurance. Big business doesn't want us to hold onto our money, they want to keep it.

    November 19, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    The Democrats are spending this country into the dirt. It's sad to watch their disrespect for the future of the country.

    November 19, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. Jane/Seattle

    I see that there is no end to passing out the MONEY! Of course, American doctors could never survive on some reasonable salary like more successful countries do. (Canada, England and most notable, Denmark! Yeah, yeah, we know how much it costs to become a doctor, but then this is Capitalism, isn't it? We also know how many "poor" kids who could become doctors if they could catch a break under this system. Yeah, yeah, blame the parents for their ignorance and poverty. Doom the kids for the sins of their fathers? Yup, good old Christian charity a work? Hmmm. gotta go do some more work for the peanuts I get paid as the Corporatocracy makes Billions from our collective Labor! Peace

    November 19, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. Gerry

    Medicare and medicaid started in June 30, 1965 in the senate the vote was 70 for 24 against and in the house it was 307 for and 116 against. This was a by partisant vote, nothing like the voting of today.

    November 19, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Kevin in Ohio

    These people in Congress have NO cleu as to how to balance a checkbook...... incompetence!

    November 19, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. JK Ashburn, VA

    Democrats proving they are lying through their teeth about how they intend to pay for "health care reform". They will gladly spend the money. They just don't want to be responsible adults and actually pay for it.

    November 19, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    GOOD DEAL 🙂 make us proud . and make the wealthy republicans squirm and the insurance companies throw up and taste there own ass

    gary davis
    harbor oregon
    proud of our president 🙂

    November 19, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    maybe saturday history will be made with a passage of a health care bill for the president to sign

    and just think ((( every senator that votes YES will be imortalised on a special plaque ))) saying here lies the names of the 21st century senators who made history . and voted YES ON A united states health care bill . a first of its kind in the history of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA .
    so make america proud and vote yes saturday NOVEMBER 21,2009 IN THE 21ST CENTURY ..this date will be etched into history with a yes vote .. and those who choose to vote NO will at the end of each one of there terms in office will be voted out.. so listen up republican and sissy democrates . now is the time to make history..

    gary davis
    harbor oregon
    proud of our president 🙂

    November 19, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. Albo58

    This vote was to prevent Queen Nan from having to add this bill to her already massively expensive health care fiasco! Plus, it was a payback for the AMA's "endorsement" of ObamaCare!

    November 19, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. Capsaicin

    When the Soviet Union sent up Sputnik in 1957 the US realized it was slipping behind, and mobilized a national effort to catch and surpass those it trailed.

    Today US healthcare costs are higher than any country and overall national results worse than many of the so called 'Socialist' health care nations (37th I believe).

    This HC reform will save money by reducing inordinate private profits to benefit Americans as a whole. This is today's Sputnik. Get on board.

    November 19, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  22. D.

    Voting for a bill that did not pass in the Senate is an exercise in futility.
    Is this one of the reason we keep on sending these guys to work for us?!?

    November 19, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. MVDCT

    Well, what a shell game the Democrats are playing. I guess they didn't have enough guts to put that $210 billion in the "health care rform" bill. This whole thing is big joke and the Congressional Democrats are a disgrace. LEAVE US ALONE! Government run health care is a liberal's wet dream and a national nightmare for the rest of us.

    November 19, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  24. Rick CT

    This was originally part of the base health care bill until Pelosi, et al realized the cost of the health care bil as one package would be too high. So they tried to hide it by spliting the bill. It was also the only way the AMA would "support" the base bill.

    In private industry, we call this kind of accounting fraud.

    November 19, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. Susan in NC

    A step in the right direction!

    November 19, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
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