The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living are urging the U.S. Senate to act quickly on a potentially historic bill for establishing Medicare rates for doctors. The U.S. Senate will reportedly vote today on H.R. 2, otherwise known as the “doc fix” bill, which would repeal the much maligned “sustainable growth rate,” which has previously required temporary “doc fix” actions 17 times.
Senators have about 24 hours to approve the measure, or physician Medicare rates will drop 21% on Wednesday. The House overwhelmingly approved the measure in late March before Congress recessed.
“The bipartisan support for H.R. 2 in the House set a clear directive for the Senate, and we encourage them to pass this legislation swiftly and without revision,” said AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson in a public statement.
Parkinson added that AHCA “stand[s] ready to work with the Senate to find a permanent solution.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has repeatedly promised he would help muster support to pass the bill, telling one news organization on Saturday it would pass by “a very large majority.” Possible amendments, which ABC News said is unlikely given they would push the bill back to the House if approved, include:
·• A proposal by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to add two years to the existing two-year funding extension for the Children’s Health Insurance Program; and
• Efforts by several Republican senators to include savings mandates to avoid adding $141 billion over the next 10 years to the federal deficit.