WASHINGTON (March 31, 2014) With just hours to spare Monday, Congress acted to prevent a 24 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients,
The Senate's 64-35 vote sent a measure to delay the cuts for a year to President Barack Obama, who signed it Tuesday.
The $21 billion measure staves off a 24 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors for a year and extends dozens of other expiring health care provisions such as higher payment rates for rural hospitals.
The legislation is paid for by cuts to health care providers, but fully half of the cuts won't kick in for 10 years.
It's the seventeenth temporary "patch" to a broken payment formula that dates to 1997.