doc fix

Was There Ever an Obama-Ryan Honeymoon?

Ryan greets Obama as he arrives to deliver his final State of the Union address while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. looks on. It was one of Ryan's few smiles of the evening. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama repeatedly had to raise his voice to be heard over cheering Democratic lawmakers during his State of the Union address on Jan. 12. But Speaker Paul D. Ryan sat motionless, his face frozen in a polite — but unimpressed — expression.  

Obama used part of his likely final address to a joint session of Congress to extol policy whims long pushed by Democrats like pre-kindergarten “for all” children and a government-led effort to “to make college affordable for every American.” He also called it a “basic fact” that the U.S. “has the strongest, most durable economy in the world,” saying the country is “in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history.”  

Senate Returns to an Immediate 'Doc Fix' Deadline

The Senate is facing a post-recess time crunch on the 'doc fix.' (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers will already be facing a time crunch when the Senate returns Monday.  

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been withholding payments to doctors treating Medicare patients to give Congress a window to work through a long-term resolution to the Sustainable Growth Rate problem that sees physicians regularly facing draconian cuts in payment rates without a patch known as a "doc fix."  

Orthopaedic Surgeons Work On Congress

While it was pushing for a "doc fix" to delay cuts in Medicare payments to physicians, the PAC of orthopaedic surgeons contributed over $360,000 to Congressional candidates, leadership PACs, and party committees during the first quarter of the year.  

The PAC of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons  contributed $361,650 to federal candidates during the first quarter. Orthopaedic surgeons deal with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. The surgeons use both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.  

'Doc Fix' Heads to Obama: GOP Senators Switch Votes Within Minutes

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

They voted for it before they voted against it.  

Several Senate Republicans who backed a procedural motion to allow the measure known as the "doc fix" to get a final vote opposed the legislation — the very same day. The final vote on the bill, Congress' 16th "doc fix" patch , was 64-35 . It passed thanks to Republican moderates and party leadership on both sides.  

CBO Calls Baloney on Using War Money to Pay Medicare Docs (Updated)

Updated 3:54 p.m. | Congressional budget scorekeepers don't sound impressed with using projected savings from not fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to prevent slashing paychecks for doctors.  

In a cost estimate released Monday, the Congressional Budget Office explained that $601 billion in projected savings from limits on the Overseas Contingency Operations account might never be spent anyway, and noted there's no funding currently provided for the OCO funding.

Secret 'Doc Fix' Deal Angers Rank and File (Video)

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The House on Thursday passed a bill that likely did not have the votes to pass.  

It was clear that a bill to avert a pay hike for doctors was short on support, so Republican leaders struck a closed-door agreement with Democrats to pass the bill by voice vote while members were not yet in the chamber, according to members and aides from both parties.

Senate to Vote on 'Doc Fix' Monday, Wyden Looking Ahead (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:18 p.m. | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hoped to send a yearlong patch for payments to doctors treating Medicare patients to President Barack Obama's desk today, but it was not to be. A vote on the "doc fix" bill was postponed until Monday evening.  

The Nevada Democrat's comments on the floor backing the patch came not long after a surprise House voice vote to pass the measure, which represents a compromise between Reid and Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.  

'Doc Fix' Deal Passes Without Roll Call Vote (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated March 27, 12:49 a.m. |  The House passed controversial "doc fix" legislation with a voice vote Thursday, after House GOP leaders spent hours scrambling to round up votes for the deal backed by Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.