In rare harmony, Boehner and Pelosi near deal on Medicare doc fees bearing wins for Dems, GOP

Lifestyle and Budget Associated Press

House Speaker John Boehner and his usual nemesis, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are working together to try resolving the long-running problem of how Medicare pays doctors.

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Their uncharacteristic harmony underscores the political victories each sees in finally sweeping the issue off the deck — if they can succeed.

A 1997 law has left Congress repeatedly heading off deep cuts in doctors' Medicare reimbursements. Lawmakers are tired of those showdowns.

If the Republican Boehner can push a compromise changing that formula through the GOP-led Congress, he's hoping it will show voters that his party can govern effectively.

For Democrat Pelosi, a deal would protect the health care program for the elderly that Democrats cherish. The package would also include money for other party priorities, including children's health.