After a year-long reprieve from having to fix the Medicare "sustainable growth rate" formula, Congress is once again scrambling to avoid a 27 percent cut to Medicare physicians pay in January 2012.
Hopes for a permanent fix this year dimmed with the failure of the super committee. That means any "doc fix" Congress passes will last no longer than a year, at most maybe two years.
How many more years will it take before a permanent solution is found? Is a bill from Rep. Alyson Schwartz, D-Pa., a first step to permanently addressing the Medicare SGR? Or is a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission plan, which cuts most doctors pay, a more realistic solution?