It’s hard to know what will really happen on the floor of the Senate the rest of this week, but the Senate says on its Web site that it still expects to continue debate of S. 1932, a major budget bill, at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.[@@]
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., surprised Senate Republicans today by forcing the Senate into a closed session in connection with concerns about Iraq.
Senate Majority Leader William Frist, R-Tenn., appeared on television to blast the Democrats.
It’s unclear how the turmoil will affect debate on the Senate floor about S. 1932.
One bill provision of interest to insurers, Section 6011, could encourage the purchase of private long term care insurance, by discouraging efforts by older Americans to qualify for Medicaid nursing home benefits for the poor by using special designed financial instruments.
Another provision, Section 6012, would make the Long Term Care Partnership program, which is now available only in California, Connecticut, Indiana and New York, available throughout the United States.
The partnership programs now in effect encourage the purchase of private LTC insurance by giving insureds who use up private benefits some ability to protect assets before qualifying for Medicaid nursing home benefits.
Other sections of the bill would increase defined benefit pension plans’ Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. premiums and tinker with the revamped Medicare Advantage managed care plan program.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, spoke today on the Senate floor in defense of S. 1932 sections that would cut billions of dollars in “regional stabilization” funding over 5 years. Grassley said the cuts were announced in 2003.