Friday Round-Up: Senate Prepares to Hack Away at Medicaid

Welcome to an eventful Friday in the world of skilled nursing, as both industry players and average Americans still struggle to untangle the implications of the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act — and the Senate GOP leadership attempts to wrangle enough votes to pass the legislation by the time Congress takes off for the Independence Day holiday.

Still, there was skilled nursing news outside of Washington: Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that will bring a prospective payment system (PPS) to the Sunshine State amid objections from LeadingAge, Sabra CEO Rick Matros told SNN why his real estate investment trust (REIT) bet on skilled nursing while similar firms ran in the other direction, and we took a deep look into the current SNF financing landscape to find that mid-sized buyers could be poised to take over the industry. And SNN readers continued to flock to a story from two weeks ago in which a prominent senior housing researcher declared SNFs to be “under siege.”

What We’re Reading: Unpacking the American Health Care Act

The coming days will be full of AHCA coverage, but with limited time to digest the full scope of the legislation before the anticipated vote next week, here are a few solid articles that explain both the ideological foundations of the GOP’s Obamacare repeal — and the uphill battle that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who has spearheaded the plan to pass the bill before the upcoming holiday, reportedly faces among his peers.

The New York Times takes a look at how the Republican Party’s principles guided the bill, coupled with descriptions of how this particular brand of Obamacare repeal would affect average Americans if it passes as is. Politico, meanwhile, breaks down the legislative nuts-and-bolts behind an AHCA vote in the Senate, including the gang of four senators attacking the proposal from the right.

Finally, just in case you need a break from all the talk of per-capita caps and Consumer Price Indices, the Times also helpfully recapped late-night television’s reaction to the new bill. And lest you think that TV’s jesters have no real impact on the discussions in Washington, remember that Sen. Dean Heller — a Nevada Republican facing a particularly difficult re-election fight in 2018, according to multiple sources — told reporters last month that he could only vote for an Obamacare repeal bill that passed “the Jimmy Kimmel Test,” referring to the ABC host’s plea for health care compassion after emergency surgery saved the life of his newborn son.

Written by Alex Spanko

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