House Republican leaders announced they will introduce a bill to extend a middle-class payroll tax holiday in legislation that won't include a solution to Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula for physicians.
No remedy for docs in GOP's payroll tax-cut plan
Beginning March 1, physicians who participate in the Medicare program will face a 27.4% cut in reimbursement if Congress does not address the issue by Feb. 29.
“Because the president and Senate Democrats have not allowed their conferees to support a responsible bipartisan agreement, today House Republicans will introduce a backup plan that would simply extend the payroll tax holiday for the remainder of the year while the conference negotiations continue regarding offsets, unemployment insurance and the ‘doc fix,'” said the joint statement from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “If Democrats continue to refuse to negotiate in good faith, Republicans may schedule this measure for House consideration later this week pending a conversation with our members.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee—which has jurisdiction over the Medicare program—shot back that Republicans are compromising healthcare access for millions of Americans.
“It's unfortunate that House Republican leaders are manufacturing another crisis even as the conference committee continues to do its work,” Levin, who serves on that committee, said in statement. “It's completely irresponsible to leave behind nearly 5 million unemployed Americans whose benefits will expire and 47 million seniors and disabled Americans whose access to healthcare would be jeopardized.”
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