The Doc Fix: The Lobbyists’ Full Employment Bill

The doc fix epic Ping-Pong match.

The doc fix epic Ping-Pong match.

Good morning, ProviderNation.

I know not everyone is thrilled with Washington “process stories.” (Hacks hate them just as much, believe me.) But if you care about this sort of the thing, the doc fix legislation is turning into a helluva Ping-Pong match.

When last we left our heroes, the House doctors’ caucus had beaten back an effort by House Speaker John Boehner to “patch” the doc fix for nine months or so and focus on the debt ceiling debate. The House docs, you’ll recall, wanted to keep their legislation pure as the driven snow.

Well, that was then. According to some lobbying-Americans I spoke to, it looks like the House is going to vote on a doc fix this week—but this one tied to a new attack on Obamacare. (Ping.)

That means that it won’t go anywhere in the Senate (Pong.)

And Congress is supposed to recess again next week, leaving barely a week before the current bill expires. (Ping.)

Which means that congressional staffers are saying privately that there probably will be a short-term patch on the doc fix, after all. (Pong.)

Which means that we’re back to where we started. Your serve, life.

In happier news, it looks like those wily Illinoisans are trying to tackle Alzheimer’s disease with the buddy system. Please to enjoy. (Bill Myers is Provider’s senior editor. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter, @ProviderMyers.)

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