On July 15, 2008, the US Congress enacted the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 [PDF], designed to cut Medicare expenditures by reducing Medicare payments made to insurance companies rather than those made to doctors. Although President George W. Bush vetoed the bill, the Senate and House both overrode the veto. The law, focused primarily on preventive and mental health services, was designed to benefit physicians and Medicare recipients by limiting the ability of private fee-for-service health plans to unilaterally include physicians. In addition, the federal government allocated funding for increased outreach to Medicare beneficiaries, the bulk of which is targeted at enrolling low-income Medicare beneficiaries.
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