Senate under pressure to pass Medicare bill by Independence Day

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Suspense has been building around passage of a critical Medicare bill and whether the Senate can take such action before the July 4th recess.

If the Senate does not reach an agreement on a Medicare extensions package by the holiday break, retroactive legislation will be required to delay the 10.6% cut in physician pay and extend the therapy caps moratorium. The latter is an issue of major concern to nursing-home providers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) thinks that the only legislation the Senate will be able to vote on before Independence Day will be the House version, which was passed on Tuesday. The House version of the bill delays a cut in physician pay, extends the therapy caps exceptions process for 18 months and postpones a competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment suppliers. Both Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) also had introduced separate bills.