Congress Passes Repeal of Sustainable Growth Rate
In a 92-8 vote on Tuesday, the Senate passed a bipartisan measure to repeal the Medicare payment formula known as the Sustainable Growth Rate. This bill was part of a deal negotiated in the House between House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in March, and it was approved with equally overwhelming numbers in that chamber. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation, which prevents health care providers from receiving a 21 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement rates. The bill will also fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program and community health centers for two further years. To pay for the bill, high-income seniors will cover more of their Medicare costs out of pocket, and Medigap plans will require basic co-payments.