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Are We Ready for "Nuclear Winter?"

Rob Falk

 Here we are folks.  Republicans are threatening to change the Senate rules on filibustering judicial nominees (51 votes in the Senate would be sufficient for confirmation rather than the current effective rule of 60).  Democrats are threatening that if the rules are changed, they will be bring the work of the Senate to a screeching halt by requiring the Senate to observe all rules meticulously.  Let's forget party affiliations for a minute.  What would this mean for the legislative agenda important to physicians. ?


Top two items:  malpractice reform and preventing future reductions in Medicare reimbursement for physician services caused by the so-called "sustainable growth factor". 


Will the Senate will find some way out of the corner it seems to be painting itself into?  How likely was it that the Senate was ever seriously going to be able to enact malpractice reform in the first place?  Does the fact that Medicare issues would likely be addressed late in the legislative session provide us with some insulation?  Should we be putting our woolies on now to guard against the deep chill?  Inquiring minds want to know.