Doherty said the ACP continues to urge Congress to enact a permanent fix to the SGR problem, noting the "short-term patches" have a disruptive impact on physician practices. He said the SGR formula is "unworkable" and triggers the Medicare payment cuts whenever spending on physicians and related services grow faster than the economy.
The Senate's failure to act Friday came after Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) held up passage of legislation to stop the Medicare payment cut. Bunning also stopped unemployment benefit extensions and other provisions over concerns about the federal deficit. Democrats accused Bunning, a former pitcher in the Hall of Fame, of dropping the ball.