In it, but not of it. TPM DC

GOP Escalates Obamacare Standoff As Steep Medicare Cuts Loom

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AP Photo / Susan Walsh

The White House has threatened to veto the bill, and Senate Democrats fiercely object to it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the legislation has "no credibility" and accused Republicans of hijacking a must-pass bill to dismantle Obamacare.

"The Republican leadership once again chooses politics over substance and what's good for the American people," said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), a senior health care voice within the Democratic caucus. "The pay-for is a poison pill."

There is virtually unanimous agreement in Congress that the physician pay cuts should be avoided, but replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula (which calculates physician payment rates) costs a whopping $138 billion. Many expect Congress to pass another short-term patch to delay the cuts, which it has done more than a dozen times.

The GOP legislation has sparked ire among health industry groups. Insurers oppose it because they support the individual mandate. Even the top physicians group, the American Medical Association, lamented the partisan direction that the debate had taken and cautioned that the flawed SGR formula won't be repealed without bipartisan support.

About The Author

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.