House Dems say new abortion language helps Medicare doc deal

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats say language has been added to their Medicare deal with GOP leaders clarifying that the agreement's abortion restrictions on community health centers are temporary and won't be inscribed into permanent law.

The Democrats say they believe this will ease concerns that have threatened Democratic support for the overall package, which is mostly aimed at protecting doctors who treat Medicare patients from deep fee cuts.

Democrats, especially many in the Senate, had complained that the tentative deal between House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker John Boehner would give three-decade-old legal curbs on abortions the force of permanent law.

Until now, Congress has enacted those limitations annually.

Physicians' face a 21 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements starting April 1 unless lawmakers block it.