Senate delays vote on bipartisan bill on Medicare doc fees

AP News
Posted: Mar 27, 2015 3:22 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-run Senate has delayed giving final congressional approval to bipartisan legislation permanently blocking Medicare cuts for physicians until next month.

The GOP-led House approved the $214 billion bill Thursday, moving Congress close to resolving a problem that has long plagued it.

That 392-37 vote, plus President Barack Obama's endorsement of the legislation, intensified pressure on the Senate to finish the measure.

But as the Senate worked into Friday's pre-dawn hours on a separate budget-balancing plan, leaders decided to wait until after Congress' two-week spring recess to finish the legislation. Senators from both parties have complained about parts of the measure.

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By law, doctors are to receive 21 percent cuts in Medicare reimbursements April 1. The government can delay processing the payments until lawmakers return.