The House is unlikely to approve stand-alone legislation being considered in the Senate to revamp the Medicare doctor payment formula as it is currently written, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters.
House unlikely to back Stabenow bill: Hoyer
Hoyer's cautionary message makes good on a letter he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote in April indicating they would reject any Senate bills on four items—including the sustainable growth-rate, or SGR, formula in Medicare and various tax issues—if those bills didn't contain statutory “pay-as-you-go” language or if the bills' costs were not offset in some way.
The House set its own “pay-go” rules in its budget resolution earlier this year, enabling the four items to be absorbed into the budget baseline—but only under the condition that all other costly future items would in fact have to be paid for.
These guidelines aren't being applied in the Senate, however. The legislation to revamp the SGR formula that Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) wants considered on the Senate floor has no specific offset, such as a tax increase.
Regarding the public-option provisions in the House healthcare reform bill, Hoyer said he's seen “interim numbers” on how much the specific plans could cost, but that he didn't expect to see final estimates for some time.
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