House committees working on replacing Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula for physician payment have proposed ways to modernize the program and put it on better financial footing. A report said Medicare could create a single annual deductible for Parts A and B and simplify coinsurance rates, but Eric Zimmerman of McDermott, Will and Emery said lawmakers could be floating trial balloons on ways to pay for repealing the SGR, which would cost an estimated $139 billion over a decade.

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