The U.S. Senate late yesterday passed H.R. 6331, legislation that prevents a 10.6 percent cut for payments to physicians for services provided to Medicare patients. The physician payment cuts were scheduled to begin later this month if Congress did not take action.

The Senate vote was a 69-30, a bipartisan veto-proof majority. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) returned to the Senate Wednesday for the fist time since he was diagnosed with brain cancer to vote on H.R. 6331; his favorable declaration broke a stalemate that prevented the bill from passing on June 26.

The legislation now goes to President Bush for signature. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, along with the American Medical Association (AMA), urges Bush to sign the bill into law, and protect access to health care for millions of seniors, disabled and military families.

More information on further action on the legislation will be detailed on the Web site as it becomes available.