A deficit-reduction plan that would combine Medicare Part A hospital coverage with Part B coverage for physician services into a single deductible appears to be gaining bipartisan support in Congress, aides say. Such a change could cause the majority of seniors to pay more out of pocket, while costs could decrease for seniors with the most severe health problems. The Simpson-Bowles panel in 2010 estimated that such a move would save $10 billion in 2015 and a total of $110 billion through the end of this decade.

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