Senate Blocks Proposed Medicare Bill
On Oct. 21, the Senate voted against a motion that would have brought S. 1776, the Medicare Physicians Fairness Act of 2009, to the floor for debate. According to the Oct. 23 PT Bulletin from APTA, the motion failed by a vote of 47 to 53, which stopped further consideration of the bill.
The opposing votes included 13 Democrats, who were concerned that the $245 billion cost of the bill was not offset. The legislation, introduced last week by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), would have eliminated the sustainable growth rate (SGR) and prevented a 21 percent reduction in Medicare payments to providers on January 1, 2010. Despite the failure of this legislation to pass, APTA will continue its efforts to work with Congress to find alternatives to the SGR formula. What is your reaction to these developments?