A potential "doc fix" for the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula is now in flux now that lawmakers cannot agree to the contours of a payroll tax extension, reports The Washington Post.
A temporary fix to the SGR--which would have mandated a more than 29 percent reduction in fees Medicare pays to doctors beginning Jan. 1--was in the extension of the payroll tax reduction legislation that was recently passed by the Senate. However, the House of Representatives balked earlier this week on approving the Senate version.
"We are witnessing the concluding convulsion of confrontation and obstruction in the most unproductive, Tea Party-dominated partisan session of the Congress - the most partisan of which I have participated," said Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), the No. 2 House Democrat, reports The New York Times.
However, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the impasse was relatively minor and could be settled before the Congress adjourned before Christmas.