A healthcare reform plan released by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) would reduce the annual market basket update for nursing homes.

House healthcare reform legislation proposes an elimination of the market basket, or cost-of-living increase, for nursing homes. Nursing homes have been urging lawmakers not to support a market-basket reduction.  Baucus’ proposal also calls for the creation of an independent “Medicare Commission.” The commission would submit proposals to Congress regarding Medicare payments. Congress would be able to amend the proposal or pass an alternative proposal with an equivalent amount of savings.

Baucus said Wednesday said he will issue a chairman’s mark of the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare reform bill early next week. The mark could be similar to his proposal, he said. While several House committees have passed healthcare reform bills, Senate committees have yet to do so. 

To read more about the senator’s plan for healthcare reform, see the latest entry in The Editors’ Blog here.