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Will third time be a charm for Medicare bill?

Executive Summary

The Senate is poised to take a third shot at passing legislation that would reverse Medicare physician payment cuts that went into effect July 1 and contains a number of drug-related provisions. In a June 30 letter to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, Sens. John Rockefeller, D-W.V., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote, the administration can help doctors in Medicare by letting Senate Republicans "vote for passage of H.R. 6331 when it comes up again for a vote after the July recess." The bill began as S. 3101 in the Senate and includes an electronic prescribing incentive program, bundled payments for dialysis and a number of Part D prescription drug plan provisions. After failing in the Senate June 12, the House on June 24 passed a modified version, as H.R. 6331, with a veto-proof majority. The modified bill failed to pass the Senate two days later (1"The Pink Sheet," June 30, 2008, p. 23)

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