Congress voted to halt planned cuts in Medicare payments to doctors Tuesday, overriding President Bush's veto in a battle that pitted health insurers against physicians.
The new law stops a 10.6 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors, part of a scheduled cost-saving formula that went into effect July 1.
The money for the doctors will be taken from the government-subsidized Medicare Advantage program, which the Bush administration strongly supports.
Bush spiked the bill Tuesday, telling lawmakers they would be "taking choices away from seniors to pay physicians."
"I urge the Congress to send me a bill that reduces the growth in Medicare spending, increases competition and efficiency, implements principles of value-driven health care and appropriately offsets increases in physician spending," he said in his veto message.
The Senate voted 70-26 to enact the law over Bush's objections, the third time in his presidency that Congress has overridden his veto. The margin in the House of Representatives was a lopsided 383-41, well beyond the two-thirds majority needed.