President Barack Obama has signed a bill that extends a health insurance subsidy for laid-off workers and delays a Medicare physician pay cut through February 2010.
Obama signs measure to delay doc pay cut
The Senate approved both temporary measures, as part of a $636 billion Defense appropriations bill, in an 88-10 vote. The House passed the same bill on Nov. 16.
The Defense spending bill extends a 65% federal subsidy to the COBRA program through February 2010. The subsidy was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law in February 2009, and was valid for only nine months. It was set to sunset on Dec. 31, 2009.
The bill also delays a 21.2% Medicare physician pay cut for another two months as Congress attempts to craft a permanent fix to Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula.
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