House passes massive healthcare reform bill with CLASS Act in it

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

The House late Saturday passed its comprehensive healthcare reform bill by a vote of 220-215.

Included in the sweeping legislation is the CLASS Act, which would create a long-term care disability insurance program. The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging has been a strong supporter of this provision. The legislation also would include some not-so-welcome measures for long-term care. These include an elimination of the Medicare market basket update (a cost-of-living increase) for skilled nursing facilities for the final three quarters of fiscal 2010. In subsequent years, the market basket then would be attached to productivity adjustments, a move that would further erode the increase.

The bill now is expected to face a tough fight in the Senate whose moderates are opposed to a public option, among other measures in the House bill. If the Senate passes the bill, it must reconcile its version with the House's before a final bill would be signed by the president.