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