As bipartisan patience runs out, Congress approves compromise revamping doctors' Medicare fees

Lifestyle and BudgetAssociated Press

Huge majorities of both parties in Congress have finally banded together and approved legislation permanently reshaping how Medicare reimburses doctors for treating over 50 million elderly people.

Final approval came late Tuesday when the Senate voted 92-8 to send the bill to the White House. President Barack Obama says he is ready to sign the measure because it will protect health coverage for vast numbers of Americans.

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Conservatives were unhappy that the legislation is expected to swell federal deficits over the coming decade. Liberals complained that it shortchanged health programs for children and women.

But the measure had too much to offer for both parties and passed easily.