Santa Baby…

Good morning, ProviderNation.

U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, is calling it a Congressional career.

“It is never a perfect time or a right time to step aside,” Latham said Tuesday.  “But for me, this is the time.”

Some political types were surprised by the announcement because Latham, 65, was being pressed to run for Senate to replace retiring Democrat Tom Harkin next year.  Nevertheless, the tributes have come pouring in.

Among the most fulsome are long term care providers, for whom Latham was a reliable ally.

“Rep. Latham was a champion for long term care and those we serve,” AHCA leader Mark Parkinson says. “From introducing legislation to ensure access to skilled nursing care, to shepherding Congressional coalitions against drastic cuts, Rep. Latham understood the value nursing centers provide to our nation’s seniors and individuals with disabilities. Such a committed public servant will be sorely missed, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Among other things, Latham was a champion of closing the observation stay loophole.

“To Iowans across the state, Rep. Latham has served as an effective voice for the issues that matter most to us,” says AHCA Board Member and NCAL Chair Pat Giorgio. “His work on behalf of the assisted living
and long term care communities will not soon be forgotten.  We will miss his graciousness in service as well as that Iowa hospitality he offered everyone who entered his door.”

Fare thee well, and all that…

Speaking on Parkinson: I have it on good authority that there’s a picture somewhere in AHCA world headquarters of leader Mark Parkinson palling around with a colleague who is dressed as Santa. Some wag has captioned the photo, “All I want for Christmas is a permanent doc fix.”

Santa, baby: Parkinson must have been a good boy this year. Because it looks like Congress is serious about the doc fix. Parkinson tells us that it’s going to be his top priority in the New Year.

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