Congress Delays Medicare Payment Cuts

Congress approved a one-month delay in Medicare payment cuts to doctors. The Monday decision postponed the 23 percent cut in doctor’s pay that was scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, 2010.

Lawmakers now have until Jan. 1, 2011, to devise a long-term plan. Many in Congress are asking that the Medicare cuts be delayed for 13 months, instead of one month, because the Medicare rate cut is set to increase to 25 percent on Jan. 1.

The one-month postponement will cost $1 billion over 10 years, but according to the American Medical Association approximately 46 million people receive Medicare benefits and if the scheduled Medicare cuts take place some doctors would have to stop accepting Medicare patients.