Senate closer to finalizing 'doc fix'

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Staff members representing Harry Reid (D-NV), Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) reportedly have been finalizing an agreement on a one-year solution to the Medicare “doc fix.” Senate leaders hope to send it to the floor of the Senate as early as today, Politico.com reported.

The agreement would stall deep cuts to Medicare physicians' payments. Funding for the deal would come from some consumers who buy health insurance after 2014 on the new exchanges. Some would have repay if their subsidies end up being too high, the website reported. For example, someone could be asked to repay if he or she got a job after being unemployed during the first half of the year, Politico.com said.

Lobbyists have been pushing Democrats to reach a deal on this issue during the lame-duck session. Republicans are looking to it as a way of helping them repeal healthcare reform in the future.