......the House of Representatives just passed a defense bill that places a hold on the 21% Medicare payment cuts scheduled to take place on January 1, 2010. The bill will hold Medicare payments to physicians at the current rate until March.
.....The so-called “Medicare buy in” that would have allowed persons aged 55 – 64 to enroll in Medicare is dead, having lasted a mere six days. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CN) is credited with altering the proposed Senate health reform legislation (HR3590) with his announcement Sunday that he would not support a bill that contains the public option or the Medicare buy-in.
.....The President met with key Democratic leaders yesterday to urge them to pass health reform legislation. The Senate has a self-imposed Christmas deadline to successfully pass health legislation.
.....The Senate voted yesterday to reject an amendment by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) that would have allowed the importation of drugs from foreign countries. A compromise bill by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) would have allowed the importation of drugs from Canada and other foreign countries if federal health authorities declared them safe. The compromise bill failed in a 56-43 vote.
....and lastly, the Senate also defeated motion to send the reform bill back to the Senate Finance Committee.