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Mar 27, 2014

U.S. House backs one-year delay to doctor pay cuts under Medicare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on Thursday to avert looming pay cuts for doctors under the government’s Medicare health insurance program for older Americans and the disabled.

The measure to postpone the cuts was approved in a voice vote after an earlier delay signaled potential trouble mustering support for the bill, which halts the pay cuts for one year. Senate Democratic leaders hoped to bring the bill up for a vote in that chamber later on Thursday, a Senate Democratic aide said.

Mar 26, 2014

Congress to act swiftly on bill on doctor pay: Boehner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday he expected Congress to act swiftly on legislation to avert looming Medicare pay cuts for doctors after he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, agreed to the proposal.

The House of Representatives will vote on Thursday on the legislation delaying the cuts for another year, Boehner said, adding he expected the Senate would follow “pretty quickly.”

Mar 14, 2014

US House Obamacare vote sets stage for new campaign attacks

WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuters) – The Republican-run U.S.
House of Representatives on Friday approved a bipartisan deal to
spare doctors from a looming Medicare pay cut but included a
provision to undermine Obamacare, which critics said was a
non-starter in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The vote was 238-181, with most House Democrats refusing to
swallow what they called an Obamacare “poison pill,” a provision
to delay for five years the tax penalty that most Americans must
pay under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law if they
decline to sign up for insurance.

Mar 14, 2014

U.S. House ties Obamacare fight to Medicare payments fix

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican-run U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a bipartisan deal to spare doctors from looming Medicare pay cuts, but included a provision to undermine Obamacare that critics said made the bill a non-starter in the Democratic-run Senate.

The vote was 238-181, with most Democrats refusing to swallow the Obamacare “poison pill” Republicans included to delay for five years the tax penalty that Americans must pay under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law if they decline to sign up for insurance.

Mar 13, 2014

Partisanship engulfs U.S. Congress effort to avoid doctor pay cut

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – A bipartisan deal in
Congress to spare doctors from recurring Medicare pay cuts was
in jeopardy on Thursday, as Republicans ignored protests from
physicians and moved forward with legislation that would use the
so-called “doc fix” to undermine Obamacare.

Hundreds of thousands of doctors who participate in
traditional Medicare face a 24 percent pay cut on April 1, as
part of a 1990s initiative to restrain federal spending on the
government healthcare program, which today serves nearly 50
million elderly and disabled people.

Mar 13, 2014

U.S. doctors push back on latest Republican move on Obamacare

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – U.S. doctors’ biggest lobby
group said on Thursday legislation intended to avoid a major
Medicare pay cut for doctors had become a victim of partisan
politics after Republicans tied it to their efforts to undermine
Obamacare.

The American Medical Association, the biggest lobby group
for U.S. doctors, called on lawmakers in the Senate and House of
Representatives to resume the bipartisanship that early this
year produced legislation for a permanent “doc fix” that would
avoid once and for all a cut in traditional Medicare payments
enshrined in a 1997 budget law.

Mar 13, 2014

GOP takes aim at Obamacare to fund Medicare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Republicans said on Wednesday that they are pushing a plan to delay for five years the penalties for failing to buy health insurance under Obamacare, and to use the savings to spare doctors from a steep cut in Medicare payments.

Delaying until 2019 the financial penalty for not signing up for health insurance would slow down Obamacare signups and save the government billions of dollars that would otherwise be paid out in taxpayer subsidies to enrollees, the Republicans say, citing Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates.

Mar 12, 2014

U.S. Republicans take aim at Obamacare to fund Medicare fix

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Republicans said on Wednesday that they are pushing a plan to delay for five years the penalties for failing to buy health insurance under Obamacare, and to use the savings to spare doctors from a steep cut in Medicare payments.

Delaying until 2019 the financial penalty for not signing up for health insurance would slow down Obamacare signups and save the government billions of dollars that would otherwise be paid out in taxpayer subsidies to enrollees, the Republicans say, citing Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates.

Mar 9, 2014

Michigan race highlights Tea Party versus Establishment struggle

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (Reuters) – Over cocktails and chocolate-covered strawberries, a group of west Michigan Republicans gathered at a Tudor-style home in Grand Rapids and vented frustrations with Congressman Justin Amash and his Tea Party tactics that they blame for Washington’s gridlock.

“The Republican establishment has lost confidence in Justin,” said Mark Bissell, chief executive of vacuum manufacturer Bissell Inc.

Feb 13, 2014

U.S. Congress approves debt limit increase after Senate drama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress approved an increase in the country’s debt limit through March 2015, bowing to President Barack Obama’s demands to extend federal borrowing authority without conditions, but only after a dramatic Senate vote on Wednesday.

Final action in the Senate followed an hour-long nail-biting procedural tally forced by the objections of Republican Ted Cruz, a conservative Tea Party favorite. It appeared at first there would not be enough Republicans to join the Democratic majority and advance the bill.