Thursday, November 12, 2009

Health reform and home health care

Just listened in on a conference call sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (website here) regarding health reform and the likely impact on home health care. Heather Mizeur outlined the current status and here are the highlights:
  • Some are speculating that the "real" deadline is mid-January, coinciding with the President's state of the union address; others, however, point to the intense pressure coming from the White House to get this done this year. Congressional leaders are stating a willingness to work seven days per week through the holidays in order to make this happen.
  • Sticky items to watch are: the ability to opt out of the public option, the open funding questions, abortion and immigration issues
  • Keep an eye on Maine's Olympia Snowe (she's not a fan of the public option); everyone is counting votes to see whether Democrats have the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster
  • Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is leading the charge to reduce the cuts to home health; he is working to gain bipartisan support
  • The key issue relates to the offset provisions. Rules stipulate that to reduce cuts in one area, the proponent needs to come up with a plan to proportionately increase revenues or increase cuts elsewhere. This is going to be a tough proposition for Kerry.
  • Look for a Senate version to emerge soon. Then the toughest work will begin - - melding the two bills together into something everyone will like.
  • The likely Senate bill will contain fewer cuts to home health than the current House bill.

The VNAA is working to keep its members informed. And it looks as though perhaps not everyone will be enjoying the holidays this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment