UPDATED: House Approves Medicare Patch

UPDATE: Here is a statement from White House Press Secretary on Monday's House action:

Statement by the Press Secretary on Medicare Payments to Doctors

"President Obama is pleased Congress has passed legislation that will prevent payment cuts to doctors from taking effect next month. The President urges Congress to now pass a one-year extension to ensure seniors maintain access to the doctor they know and trust over the coming year. Passing this one-year extension is important, but it is no substitute for a long-term fix. The President has long called for a sustainable solution, and we look forward to working with Congress to further address this matter."


The House of Representatives Monday approved a band-aid bill to temporarily halt a nearly 25 percent cut in federal payments to doctors under Medicare. The cut was scheduled to take place December 1.

The House approved the legislation by voice vote. The Senate approved the same measure a few weeks ago.

Doctors now gets a 2.2 percent increase from 2009 Medicare reimbursement rates through the end of the year.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says the patch will "allow Congress to continue our work on a longer-term solution."

Hoyer says he hopes to have a long-term agreement in the coming weeks.