Senate delays vote on Medicare payment fix for two weeks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to the mediaBy David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate will wait more than two weeks before acting on a bill to permanently fix the flawed formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, after an April 1 deadline to start a 21 percent cut in payment rates. Senate Republican and Democratic leaders said early on Friday that they would take the bill up when they return on April 13 from an Easter/Passover break. The measure, a rare bipartisan achievement in a deeply divided Congress, was overwhelmingly approved on Thursday by the House of Representatives. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he has been reassured that the delay would not cause doctors to see lower Medicare payments due to the lag time in the normal processing of payments from the health care program for seniors.

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