On Friday President Barack Obama signed a bill that temporarily spares doctors from a 21 percent reduction in Medicare payments. The measure delays cuts through the end of November while lawmakers work on a more permanent solution.
There was some urgency to approve the $6.5 billion bill, as Medicare officials announced last week that the program would begin processing claims it had already received for June at the lower rate.
The money had been part of a larger bill to extend unemployment benefits for laid-off workers and provide states with billions of dollars to avert layoffs. That bill has been blocked by Senate Republicans because of the cost.