Nursing homes set to cash in as Obama signs stimulus bill today

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Susan Collins of Maine was one of just a few Republican senators who voted for the stimulus package.
Susan Collins of Maine was one of just a few Republican senators who voted for the stimulus package.

President Obama is expected to sign a $787 billion economic stimulus bill into law later today. The completion of the bill marks his biggest accomplishment as president – and what is expected to be a huge boost for the nursing home industry.

Included in the package is $87 billion extra in Medicaid funding. Medicaid is the No. 1 payer of long-term care in the United States. The controversial measure also includes delay of certain Medicaid policy provisions that providers did not favor.

The Senate voted late Friday 60-38 to pass the bill, achieving a filibuster-proof majority only with the help of three Republican members who broke party ranks at the urging of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). A vote earlier in the day saw Democrats easily pass the measure -- without the help of a single Republican vote.