At this writing, the House Appropriations Committee is reviewing the final draft of the budget bill that will go to the House floor this week. The final budget has not yet been published so we are still analyzing the dollar amounts and the details. We will publish a special "Crossover" edition of the newsletter next week with details on the budget and policy bills that move from House to Senate (and vice versa).
What we do know now is that at the 11th hour last Friday, Representative Yacovone of Morrisville proposed a Medicaid reimbursement increase for Home Health Agencies that was adopted by the committee. We believe this is in addition to a proposal to direct "savings" that have historically been achieved in the budget through the Choices for Care program back to Choices for Care providers, assuming the savings materialize. The House Appropriations Committee also adopted an increase for community mental health centers to support wage increases. Meanwhile in Washington, the American Health Care Act was pulled from consideration by Congressional leaders. This is good news for Vermont which was slated to lose $200 million dollars in Medicaid and insurance subsidies under the plan.
We're very pleased by all of these developments and look forward to providing more details next week.