President could issue veto of Medicare bill today

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DAY ONE: McKnight's third annual Online Expo to kick off with webcasts on technology, wound care and
DAY ONE: McKnight's third annual Online Expo to kick off with webcasts on technology, wound care and
President Bush today may veto H.R. 6331, a measure that would temporarily delay the full implementation of therapy caps and a 10.6% cut in Medicare physician pay.

Speaking on a conference call Monday, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Dr. Tevi Troy echoed the Bush administration's claims that the bill is irresponsible. The president has previously expressed his dissatisfaction with the bill over its cuts to private fee-for service plans under Medicare, saying that seniors would lose access to these plans. Congress is expected to vote to override a potential veto.

Despite its benefits, the bill is a more of a stop-gap measure in the area of payments for doctors, according to a recent analysis in The New York Times. While it would delay the 10.6% cut in physician pay for 18 months, cuts of up to 20% can be expected by 2010 if no permanent solution is found, the analysis said. Doctors are paying close attention to the developments in Washington because a freeze on the physician pay cut expires tonight.