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Senate Democrats Seek Higher Doctor Payments

Senate Democrats at work on sweeping health care legislation hope to help their cause with quick passage of a separate bill that would give doctors a $247 billion increase in Medicare fees over a decade but raise federal deficits.

Democratic officials disclosed the plan Wednesday. By creating a two-bill approach, Democrats intend to claim the more comprehensive health care measure meets President Barack Obama's conditions -- that it will neither add to deficits nor exceed $900 billion in costs over 10 years.

If approved and signed into law, the legislation relating to doctors would avert a 21 percent reduction in Medicare fees that is scheduled to take effect in January, as well as additional cuts in future years.


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