On Thursday, Democrats are expected to release a package of funding measures for an extension of the payroll tax cut and a delay to scheduled cuts to Medicare physician reimbursement rates, Modern Healthcare reports (Daly, Modern Healthcare, 2/8).
Democrats earlier this week rejected a package of offsets proposed by Republicans.
In a recent public hearing, Democrats suggested that a combination of surtaxes on U.S. residents with annual incomes of more than $1 million and savings from ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could fund a permanent repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula.
Their package could include these funding measures.
GOP Criticizes Democrats for Delay
Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) criticized Democrats for waiting to issue a proposal. He said, "There's been a calculation that's been made on their side that from a political point of view, they come out better pushing this all the way to the deadline and then having to deal with it then" (Modern Healthcare, 2/8).
Negotiators Ready To Move to Next Stage
Meanwhile, the conferees seem prepared to move on from public meetings to private talks, CQ Today reports.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said the meetings have been "productive," but suggested that it's "time to move now to another stage."
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said, "We haven't made any progress by meeting in public, so maybe if we can do one private meeting, we can actually make some progress" (CQ Today, 2/8).