Washington — President Barack Obama is asking Republican lawmakers to approve billions of dollars in new spending to avert a scheduled 21 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.
If GOP senators don’t allow the stalled proposal to pass, some doctors will stop treating Medicare recipients, Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday.
Obama also urged congressional leaders Saturday to approve his proposals to pump more federal money into states where thousands of teachers, firefighters and other public officials face likely layoffs. In a letter, Obama described his plans as “critical and timely ways to further the economic recovery and spur job creation.”
Many GOP lawmakers, and some Democrats, have balked at further stimulus spending, fearing the deficit is getting out of hand.
The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said his party wants to avoid reducing physicians’ Medicare fees, but do it without adding to the deficit — meaning spending cuts elsewhere.