One senator wonders at this point why he is a Republican…and the Democrats were quick to have the names of those who voted against the bill, and it was published image immediately on the web.  Mr. Leavitt has stated he would hold new claims for 10 business days so doctors would not see the lower payments, which is good after the last incident posted a short while back where a federal judge had to step in and slap down the sneaky attempt to push the Medicaid cuts through at the end of May as they attempted a “type ridden final rule” filing in the Federal Resister before Congress could act, so hopefully with the 10 day agreement, this won’t happen again.  So until the matter is cleared, no payments for 10 days.  BD 

Democrats moved swiftly on Friday to assail Republican senators for voting against a major Medicare bill and said the Republicans should be held responsible for a 10 percent cut in payments to doctors that takes effect next week.

And doctors, pharmacists and advocates for Medicare beneficiaries said they would step up pressure on members of Congress when they return home for the Fourth of July recess.  In nearly identical terms, Democrats attacked seven other Republican senators: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, John Cornyn of Texas, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of health and human services, said he hoped to “minimize the impact” of the cut. Medicare said it would hold new claims for 10 business days, so doctors would not see the lower payments “until July 15, at the earliest.”

Joseph P. Lech, who owns five drugstores in northeastern Pennsylvania, said he was surprised and disappointed to see that Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, had voted against a motion to take up the bill, which would speed payments to pharmacies. “I’ve been a registered Republican for almost 30 years, but I am beginning to wonder why,” Mr. Lech said.

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