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Republicans hope to tie 'doc fix' to Obamacare mandate delay

March 6, 2014 at 4:38 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- U.S. House Republicans plan to tie a 10-year delay in Obamacare's individual mandate to the annual ritual of overriding a cut in Medicare rates, aides say.

The "doc fix" has been part of budget discussions since 1997 when President Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., the House speaker at the time, agreed to a 25 percent cut in Medicare payments that would be triggered by cost hikes.

Aides say Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., decided to offset the cost of the "doc fix" by getting the money from a delay in the mandate in the Affordable Care Act, The Hill reported Thursday. But Democrats say the move is meaningless since it will never pass the Senate.

House Republicans have passed about 50 bills aimed at dismantling Obamacare.

"There's been no effort by them to sit down and talk about the pay-fors," Rep. Levin, D-Mich., the ranking minority member on the Ways and Means Committee, said. "So instead they're pretending, and that may be understandable, but it's in excusable."

The American Medical Association has been lobbying for a permanent "doc fix," and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said this week he also hopes to get one passed.

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