Senate bill would postpone severe Medicaid regulations

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Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) serves on the Senate Finance Committee.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) serves on the Senate Finance Committee.
Senators have introduced a bill to delay the implementation of seven rules that would strip some Medicaid funding from nursing homes and other healthcare providers.

Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Olympia Snowe (D-ME) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) late last week introduced the Economic Recovery In Health Care Act (S. 2819). The bill would extend the moratoria on regulations that include reducing Medicaid payments to county-owned nursing homes and tightening up the rules regarding allowable provider taxes. It also would provide $6 billion for Medicaid to cover budget shortfalls.

Last month, U.S. congressmen proposed similar legislation. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair John Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) introduced a bill (H.R. 5613) that would halt the implementation of the regulations. Last week, Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health criticized the regulations in a hearing.