The Senate amended the healthcare reform law by a 56-43 vote.

While the cost of the healthcare reform will not be affected, added benefits will be provided to both patients and doctors.  Medicaid reimbursement rates to healthcare providers will be raised to the level of Medicare by 2013.  This is important since so many more people will be enrolled in Medicaid and there needs to be providers that will take care of them. The specialties most affected will be family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics.

Seniors accrue some benefit by the law modification as well.  The “doughnut hole” in the Medicare drug plan  is decreased by the amendment and is completely eliminated by 2020. Medicare patients will receive $250 towards this in the meantime.

Hopefully, Medicare will stay solvent enough long term to afford this change.