Washington House Republicans are proposing to stave off a steep cut in Medicare payments to doctors looming on Jan. 1.
The plan by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan would replace a cut of more than 27 percent with 1 percent increases for 2012 and 2013. That would give Congress time to come up with a totally new system for paying doctors under Medicare.
The $39 billion "doc fix" would be mainly paid for by increasing Medicare premiums for upper income retirees, along with some cuts in spending authorized by President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. It's unclear if Democrats will accept those.
The GOP plan also heads off Medicare cuts that would affect rehabilitation medicine and rural ambulance services.