GOP Leaders Say Most — Not All — Will Oppose ‘Doc Fix’

Posted November 19, 2009 at 11:02am

House Republican leaders emerged from a closed-door conference meeting on Thursday confident that most of their members would vote against the $210 billion “doc fix— bill — but stopped short of declaring there would be unanimous GOP opposition.

GOP sources said several Republicans are still weighing whether to vote for the bill, which will prevent a 21 percent pay cut to doctors under Medicare. Republican leadership opposes the bill because there is no offsetting revenue increase or spending cut to pay for it.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), a member of the Republican Doctors Caucus, will likely vote for the Democratic bill, his office confirmed to Roll Call.

The decision has been particularly tough for several members of the Doctors Caucus — who used to be practicing physicians — because it is popular among doctors.

Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) declined to discuss the whip count at a press conference after the meeting.

Republicans will offer an alternative to the Democratic bill that is paid for by a series of medical liability and health insurance reforms.

“This is an attempt by us to do something fiscally responsible and deliver to our doctors and their patients,— Cantor said.

Other members of the Republican Doctors Caucus include Reps. John Boozman (Ark.), Charles Boustany (La.), Paul Broun (Ga.), Bill Cassidy (La.), John Fleming (La.), Phil Gingrey (Ga.), John Linder (Ga.), Tim Murphy (Pa.), Ron Paul (Texas), Tom Price (Ga.), Phil Roe (Tenn.) and Mike Simpson (Idaho).