by Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor
A deal to prolong a freeze on Medicare cuts to doctors through 2012 is in the works and might be voted on by Congress by Friday, according to reports. However, the compromise comes at a cost to federal health funding.
Congressional aides have said House Republicans have apparently struck a tentative deal with Democrats to approve a legislative package that includes a hold on a 27.4 percent cut to Medicare physician reimbursements, set to take effect in March, according to reports. The deal also extends a payroll tax cut and some unemployment benefits, the reports said.
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According to The Hill newspaper, the deal comes at a cost, though: $21.1 billion in cuts to federal funding on health care. The New York Times said many of these cuts fall on prevention and public health measures called for by the Affordable Care Act.
An official announcement on the deal could come as early as Wednesday evening, according to CNN. The deal was largely brokered by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Rep. David Camp (R-Mich.), the New York Times said.