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Capitol Health Call
March 5, 2003

Universal Coverage Redux?

JAMA. 2003;289(9):1093. doi:10.1001/jama.289.9.1093-a

An amendment to the long-delayed 2003 omnibus spending bill reverses a 4.4% cut in Medicare funding, which observers say should help stem the flux of physicians leaving the program.

Physicians took a 5.4% cut last year, and the additional 4.4% cut was scheduled to take effect March 1. The provision in the spending bill halts the March cut, gives physicians a 1.6% increase for 2003, and provides the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid the authority to fix the payment formula. Currently, only Congress has that authority.

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