The House HHS  Omnibus bill is set to be voted on today on the House floor.  Time limit for debate could be anywhere from 4 to 11 hours — let’s hope it’s closer to 4 hours!

Meanwhile, the Senate HHS Omnibus bill was released yesterday in its entirety, and subsequently passed out of the HHS budget division.  It is scheduled to be heard today in the Senate’s Full Finance committee, and possibly on the floor tomorrow.

We anticipate a conference committee to be appointed Thursday, and the conference committee could start as early as Friday.  Or even Thursday, if they are feeling the negotiation love.

As noted in the previous post, older adult services fair well in the House bill — an earlier one-time, one percent cut to nursing homes, EW, and other continuing care providers and grants was deleted, leaving no cuts to older adult services or continuing care (with the major exception of cuts to mental health).

The Senate is a different story.  A nursing home surcharge offsets cuts to nursing homes; however, Sen. Berglin includes a 5% cut to EW Customized Living and 24-hour Customized Living.  In addition, the bill includes the onerous regulation provision mandatory transitional consultation, which would require all individuals, including privately paying individuals, to receive financial and options counseling from the Senior LinkAge Line and a certificate showing they have received this counseling before signing a contract with a housing with services establishment.

Needless to say, Aging Services is OPPOSED to the Senate position on HWS and EW cuts.  If you haven’t done so already, you can send a message to your senator registering your opposition.

Stay tuned for updates!