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Medicare pricing frozen as Congress leaves town

Washington Post, June 30, 2008
With congressional leaders engaged in heated brinkmanship, the Bush administration has given a reprieve to thousands of doctors expecting to get hit with a 10.6% cut in Medicare payments on July 1. The Department of Health and Human Services will essentially freeze the current pricing system because Congress left for a midsummer break without approving a price fix, Secretary Mike Leavitt announced. Congressional aides said the freeze could last 10 days. Each side of the debate has accused the other of playing politics with Medicare, the program that covers many healthcare costs for the nation's elderly and some people with disabilities.