Bush vetoes Medicare SGR bill

President Bush today followed through on a threat to veto legislation that would eliminate a 10.6% cut in payments to physicians participating in the federal Medicare program, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The bill, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (H.R. 6331), would eliminate the pay cut required under Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and replace it with a 0.5% payment increase in 2008 and a 1.1% increase in 2009. The legislation passed both houses of Congress by veto-proof margins.

The Bush administration opposes the way the legislation would finance the payment increases, according to the AP report. The report added that Congress is expected to quickly override the veto.

The pay cut was scheduled to go into effect on July 1, but Bush ordered the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to delay claims processing until July 15 to give the government time to resolve the SGR impasse.

Related Reading

President threatens to veto Medicare bill, July 14, 2008

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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