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Congress Overrides Bush Veto of Physician Medicare Bill

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Within hours of President Bush's veto of legislation designed to restore a 10.6 percent cut to Medicare reimbursement fees paid to doctors, the House and Senate on Tuesday both voted overwhelmingly to override the veto.

In restoring the money to doctors, the legislation makes up the resulting shortfall by trimming fees to private insurers who participate in a program called Medicare Advantage.

In vetoing the measure Tuesday, Bush said that while he supported restoring the cut aimed at doctors, he disapproved of shifting the cuts to the insurers. "Taking choices away from seniors to pay physicians is wrong," Bush said in his veto message.

But Congress disagreed. The Senate voted 70-26 to override the veto, shortly after the House did so by a lopsided vote of 383-41, the Bloomberg news service reported.

"We thank the bipartisan majority in Congress who voted to put patients first," Dr. Nancy Nielsen, president of the American Medical Association, said in a news release hailing the Congressional action.

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