In rare deal, Boehner, Pelosi tout wins for seniors, doctors

An extraordinary bipartisan accord between House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is letting both parties exhale as they move toward permanently ending the nagging annual threat of Medicare cuts to physicians. Yet each side is bragging about more than that.

For Boehner, R-Ohio, the package announced Tuesday lets him claim a rare if modest bipartisan pact to strengthen the finances of the costly Medicare health care program for seniors. Attempts by Boehner and President Barack Obama to strike dramatic, money-saving compromises overhauling Medicare and the nation’s other growing benefit programs have foundered in recent years, including during their 2011 “grand bargain” talks.

“We have no intentions of passing any kind of a short-term doc fix. We’ve got a good product, we’re going to pass it here on Thursday and I hope the Senate will move as quickly as possible,” he said, using Washington’s nickname for the Medicare doctors’ measure in a warning to the Senate.

Pelosi, D-Calif., was focused more on the two years of additional money the plan contains for the widely popular Children’s Health Insurance Program and the nation’s community health centers, which serve poor families in every state.

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