Congress may soon vote on a bill changing how, and how much, Medicare pays doctors. That’s a good idea -- so long as taxpayers benefit, too.
The impetus for the change is a problem that Congress itself created. In 1997, lawmakers tried to keep down Medicare spending by limiting the growth of doctors’ payments. That was the idea, anyway; every year since 2003, physicians have successfully lobbied Congress to override the pay cuts imposed by the 1997 formula, a move that came to be known as the “doc fix.”