President threatens to veto Medicare bill

President Bush has said he intends to veto legislation passed this week by the Senate that averts Medicare physician pay cuts of 10.6%, according to the American College of Radiology (ACR) in Reston, VA.

On July 9, the Senate passed the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (H.R. 6331) by a veto-proof margin of 69 to 30. The Bush administration is trying to convince three of the 18 Republicans who voted in favor of the bill to reverse their votes and support the upcoming veto. Unless the bill is signed into law, Medicare will process claims with the 10.6% cut starting July 15.

Nine senators who voted against identical legislation on July 26 opted to vote in favor of H.R. 6331 on July 9 following an intense lobbying campaign by the ACR and other physician organizations.

Dr. James Thrall, chairman of the ACR's board of chancellors, has sent a letter to the 18 Republican senators who supported the bill, encouraging them to override a veto if issued, the ACR said.

Related Reading

Physician pay cuts averted as Senate passes Medicare bill, July 10, 2008

CMS delays Medicare payments due to SGR impasse, July 1, 2008

U.S. Senate blocks Medicare bill with HMO cuts, June 27, 2008

U.S. House moves to head off SGR cuts, June 25, 2008

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