As I’ve noted, one of the tricks Democrats are employing to claim that health care legislation will cost less than $900 billion and not add to the deficit is to move nearly $250 billion of spending to a separate bill. Even the Washington Post has editorialized that it’s “nonsensical” for Democrats to claim that the additional bill, which would prevent scheduled cuts to Medicare doctors’ payments, is not part of health care reform.
Now, Roll Call is reporting that Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the chief sponsor of this so called “doc fix” legislation, is blasting the idea that this spending should be offset so that it doesn’t add to the deficit:
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on Tuesday rejected bipartisan demands that her legislation extending Medicare payments to doctors include provisions to offset its massive $245 billion price tag, arguing a one-year pay-for in the larger health care bill is sufficient.
“We’re not moving forward from the basis of offsets,” Stabenow said, accusing Republicans of using the issue to try to scuttle the broader health care reform effort.
UPDATE: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is warning Harry Reid that it must be paid for, and says Nancy Pelosi agrees.