Yet another bill would delay physician payment cut

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A new, slimmed down version of a bill to delay physician pay cuts and extend expiring Medicare provisions is expected to hit the Senate floor soon. It is the third bill that would put off the cuts.   

The bill would delay a 10.6% cut in physician pay, which is scheduled to take effect July 1. There is also a provision for a physician pay increase. The bill, which is courting the more fiscally conservative Representatives, would provide only a 0.5% pay rise until 2009. The rate would increase to the full 1.1% after the New Year. This bill also includes a provision extending the moratorium on Medicare therapy caps for another 18 months. Nursing homes are pushing hard for the moratorium.

Republicans and Democrats are still debating ways to pay for such bill. Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) , whose bill was denied cloture last week, wants to cut funding for Medicare Advantage plans. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) also recently introduced a bill that would delay the physician payment cut.