U.S. fiscal cliff talks stuck on spending cut demand-source

WASHINGTON Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:16pm EST

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WASHINGTON Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate negotiators trying to seal a pact to avert the "fiscal cliff" are hung up over demands that new spending cuts be found to pay for a cost associated with fixing a Medicare issue, according to a congressional aide.

The aide, who asked not to be identified, said the disagreement revolves around demands that $30 billion in spending cuts be found to prevent a significant pay cut to doctors treating elderly Medicare patients.

Without congressional action, that pay cut would begin on Jan. 1 and it could discourage doctors from treating Medicare patients.

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