Senate Budget Committee: No Medicare cuts

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Possible good news for providers: The Senate Budget Committee has chosen not to propose Medicare payment cuts in its fiscal 2007 budget.

The recommendations fly in the face of Bush administration proposals, and a recommendation from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advised no inflationary increase for nursing homes. The administration also had proposed increasing providers' bad-debt responsibilities.

The House Budget Committee is not expected to release its proposed budget until the end of April. Nursing home lobbyists say they think the House committee also will not propose Medicare cuts.

The result could be another showdown between Congress and the administration over budget priorities. Congress did not pass the unified fiscal 2006 budget until February this year.

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