Senate Finance Committee meets with long-term care, other healthcare industry representatives today

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Lawmakers in Washington returned to work this week after the spring recess, and they are wasting no time in resuming the debate over healthcare reform. The Senate Finance Committee is meeting today to discuss the issue with more than a dozen representatives from the healthcare industry, including long-term care.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA) will hold a roundtable discussion this afternoon with experts in a variety of different fields of the healthcare world. Representing the interests of long-term care groups in this meeting will be Paul J. Diaz, president and CEO of Kindred Healthcare Inc. In a letter sent Monday to President Obama, Baucus and fellow Senate healthcare reform activist Ted Kennedy (D-MA) reaffirmed their commitment to healthcare reform, saying they would have legislation ready to mark up by June of this year.

In between sessions of the healthcare reform talks, the Senate Finance Committee will vote on the confirmation of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) to the post of secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The vote had been held up due to the governor's unresolved tax issues and Republican concerns over her stance on certain healthcare issues. The committee is expected to approve the nomination.