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Congress Overrides Bush Veto on Medicare

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first_imgCongress Overrides Bush Veto on MedicareWASHINGTON, July 15 Congress overrode President Bushs veto of a bill (HR 6331,the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act) that would protect doctors from cuts in their Medicare payments. The Senate vote to override the veto was 70 to 26. US House overrode the president’s earlier Tuesday, 383 to 41.The legislation prevents a 12.3 cut in Medicare reimbursements planned by the federal government, including for Vermont physicians.President Bush vetoed the bipartisan legislation early Tuesday, thus leading to the override votes.The bill eliminates the pending 10 percent nationwide average cut in Medicare payments to physicians for the remainder of 2008 and provides a 1.1 percent increase in Medicare physician payments for 2009. The bill also provides a 2 percent increase for doctors who report on quality measures through 2010 and provides financial incentives to providers to encourage the use of electronic prescribing technology.The bill improves access to health care in rural states like Vermont by increasing payments for sole community hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulances; extending expiring provisions that preserve payment equity for rural physicians and hospitals that run clinical laboratories; and increasing access to tele-health and other services.On June 24, the House passed the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act by a veto-proof margin of 355 to 59. On July 9, the Senate passed the bill and sent it to the President after invoking cloture to proceed to the bill by a veto-proof margin of 69 to 30.# # #last_img


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