The fix really is must-pass though, because the deep cuts it makes in reimbursements mean that doctors wouldn't be able to afford to keep taking Medicare patients. So two key constituencies—the medical community and seniors—have to go through this annual freak-out. It always passes, but always with much angst among members that they can't come up with a permanent fix. The same thing happened this time, with Republicans actually voting all over the map to show their opposition, but at the same time make sure that thing passed.
During the first vote Monday, GOP Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn of Texas, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and David Vitter of Louisiana joined the effort to waive the budget rules and clear the first hurdle to put the measure on a path to passage.That way, they could make sure it passed, because it had to and they'd catch hell if it didn't, but could distance themselves from it. They voted for it before they voted against it. Or something. Just more stupid Republican legislative tricks.
But it was a different mix of Republicans who supported the “doc fix” bill just minutes after and helped send it to President Barack Obama’s desk.
Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Blunt, Burr, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Collins, Cornyn, Hatch, Heller, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Kirk, McConnell, Murkowski, Vitter and Roger Wicker of Mississippi voted in favor of the deal itself.