Medicare pay for doctors exempt from new pay-go law
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 22, 2010
President Obama on Feb. 12 signed into law the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, which will require lawmakers to find money in the budget to pay for most new mandatory spending or tax cuts.
But several legislative priorities are partially exempt from the new requirements, including legislation to prevent cuts in Medicare pay to physicians. Up to $82 billion worth of higher Medicare pay to doctors could be approved without the need to find offsets, thereby running up the federal deficit. This figure corresponds to a five-year freeze of current Medicare rates that would be followed by additional rate cuts.
Congress still must approve separate legislation to reverse upcoming pay reductions, including the 21.2% cut that's scheduled to kick in March 1.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/02/22/gvbf0222.htm.