Congress’ doc pay, health center talks just failed. What’s next?


Negotiations to add extra health care policies to the stopgap funding bill fell apart. The provisions included a raise in Medicare pay rates for physicians, funding for community health centers, and some behavioral health policies. Lawmakers were considering attaching new health care spending items to the package, but those talks broke down and they decided to extend policies already included in prior bills. Talks are expected to continue as lawmakers are likely to extend government funding deadlines to March. The breakdown offers hints about Democrats’ and Republicans’ health priorities heading into bigger negotiations. The government funding package is expected to be the only vehicle for new health care policy ahead of the 2024 election.

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