Rep. Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis) has introduced an amendment to the HHS Omnibus bill that would close FOC (foreign operating corporation) tax loopholes and use the money to increase provider rates to continuing care providers and grants as well as remove some cuts the bill makes to mental health.

Discussion on the germaness of the amendment — which quickly lapses into debate over merits of the amendment — has been going on for at least 30 minutes.   The House has not yet voted on the amendment.

Debate is mostly focused on whether or not the amendment is applicable (ie, germane) to the bill as well as a debate over what kinds of values the amendment represents.

As one legislator said, this is a preview of coming attractions for next session.

The amendment was found germane by the body.

The amendment was adopted.   The House HHS Omnibus bill now includes a 2% increase to nursing homes, waiver programs, other continuing care grants, and deletes some cuts to mental health.  This spending is paid for with the closing of FOC tax loopholes.

The Senate HHS bill still includes a nursing home surcharge in lieu of cuts and a 5% cut to EW customized living and 24-hour customized living.

Here’s to an exciting conference committee!