Latest bill would extend therapy caps exceptions process through end of year

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The Senate on Tuesday voted 66-34 to end debate on a package of healthcare stopgap measures. These include an extension of the therapy caps exceptions process.

The vote clears the way for the Senate to finally approve a number of measures the long-term care community has been fighting for in recent months. If adopted, the measure would extend the therapy caps exceptions process through Dec. 31. It also would extend a temporary 6.2% increase in state Medicaid funding by six months, through June of 2011. Late last month, Congress passed and the president signed a bill that would extend the therapy caps exceptions process—but only through the end of March.

The latest bill also delays a Medicare physician pay cut of 21.2% until the end of the year, and an extension of unemployment insurance benefits under the COBRA program. Although it contains $36 billion in tax cuts, the bill is also expected to increase the federal deficit by $97 billion over the next decade.

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