The fiscal cliff deal that recently passed Congress and was signed into law by President Obama contains several measures relevant to the healthcare industry.
The aging of America is getting some notice. The bill creates a commission to study the long-term care situation in America. Specifically, a 15-member panel is to “develop a plan” for the establishment and financing of a comprehensive long-term care system.
The bill requires the Commission to submit its proposals to Congress and the White House within six months of formation; however, Congress does not have to vote on the Commission’s recommendations.
Another measure rescinds all unobligated funds under the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program.
Under the Affordable Care Act, Congress originally allocated $6 billion to the program, but that amount was subsequently lowered to $3.4 billion. Thus far, CMS has awarded nearly $1.4 billion in startup loans to CO-OPs, including a $58.8 million loan to the Kentucky Health Cooperative, Inc.. All remaining funds that haven’t been awarded will be rescinded.
The bill also directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a fund to “provide assistance and oversight” to recipients of loans or grants under the CO-OP program. Ten percent of all unobligated funds for the CO-OP program will be used to monitor previous loan recipients.
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