The AMA applauded the 405-16 House vote passing the bill because otherwise the federal government will withhold 3% of Medicare physician payments.
“This additional burden is simply untenable in our current Medicare system,” Dr. Peter Carmel, president of the AMA, said in a written statement. “There is already a 20% gap between Medicare's payments to physicians and the cost of providing care to seniors, and physicians now face a nearly 30% cut on Jan. 1 due to the broken Medicare physician payment formula.”
Shortly after House passage Republican House leaders urged President Barack Obama, whose administration released a statement of support for the repeal, to spur Senate consideration of the measure.
The Senate is still wrangling over how to pay for the repeal, estimated to be $11 billion over 10 years. The House would pay for it through narrowing the coming Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he has heard directly from a hospital system in his district with concerns over the economic impact that the withhold rule would have.
“We are not, and should not be, in the business of making it more difficult for public entities nor private sector businesses to operate,” Cantor said at a news conference Thursday, discussing the withholding requirement.