Most of those provisions are set to expire at the end of the month. The Democrat-backed bill would allow those provisions to carry on for at least one month at a cost of $9.2 billion. But according to several sources, Republican leaders want to see that the package is fully paid for first. An attempt late last year to pass a longer-term bill that would have effectively scrapped the sustainable growth-rate formula, or SGR, also failed to pass the Senate.
It's unclear when or if the legislative hold will be lifted. A package that includes only a 15-day stay on many of the provisions is also being considered, according to sources.
The House would also have to pass the package.
“I want to get that for as long as I can,” Reid told reporters on Tuesday, referring to the SGR fix. “The doctors are right.”
A perennial legislative thorn in the side of lawmakers, the physician pay patch has stumped Congress for the past several years. All the while, the cost for reversing the scheduled pay reduction continues to grow.
The one-month SGR delay, for instance, would cost the federal government roughly $1.04 billion, but under previous rules, is exempt from being offset.
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