But it's a gamble. The Democrats' chief vote counter has said that they do not have enough votes to advance the $250 billion bill, with a raft of possible amendments failing to gain traction among party leaders. The legislation, authored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), would effectively freeze physician payments over the next decade, leaving the door open for a new payment formula to take hold.
Republicans, however, have said that the bill would add too much to the national debt and run counter to a pledge by the White House that healthcare reform would not add to the federal deficit.
“This legislation does not solve the problem, it simply says we are not going to adhere to the formula in the future,” Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said. “That's not a solution to the problem.”
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