“The administration is pleased that the bill would eliminate the steep payment cut scheduled for 2010,” the White House said in a statement of administration policy in support of the bill. The Obama administration also praised the bill's provisions that would provide a boost to primary-care providers by increasing payments for evaluation and management services, such as office visits.
Though some Democrats seem confident the bill will pass the chamber without incident, others have hinted that nagging fiscal concerns about the bill remain, such as the legislation's lack of a spending offset. Members are still grappling with the “usual pay-go questions” on the SGR, said Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.).
Even though this bill includes statutory pay-go language, that language does not apply to the SGR, only to other costly future items that will require offsets.
The SGR fix, under a budget agreement made by lawmakers earlier this year, became exempt from pay-go requirements. This means the bill's price tag—estimated at $210 billion over 10 years by the Congressional Budget Office—would be absorbed back into the federal budget baseline.
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