The deal being worked out on health care overhaul included, at least this afternoon, "allowing people from age 55 to 64 to buy coverage through Medicare beginning in 2011, " according to the New York Times.

That idea is raising hackles among doctors and hospitals as well as U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota.

While she said she appreciates trying to reach consensus, expanding Medicare without fixing the geographic disparities that short Minnesota's reimbursement rate is not the right idea.

"My major concern is that historically Minnesota has been underpaid for our reimbursements," she said on the phone while at a meeting with other Senators.

Klobuchar and other Minnesota members of congress have long tried to fix the underpayment issue and have made some progress but Klobuchar said if the program expands, Minnesota should get more.

"When you start adding more people to this? We should get something out of it....I'm trying to do something to adjust the rates," she said. "I think I've talked to 30 Senators in the last 24 hours -- I'm working to try to fix this."

 

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