The 5 percent minimum charity care requirement, which is being opposed by nonprofit hospitals, has been deleted from the health care reform proposal of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). A framework was released on September 8 that references new requirements for hospitals whereby they will have to meet “a community needs assessment” to maintain a tax exemption. Commentators believe the proposal also includes a mandate that hospitals have a charity care policy, a requirement that those who qualify for financial assistance are not charged the top hospital rates, and a provision relating to collection procedures. A Finance Committee proposal released in May, authored by Baucus and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), included a minimum charity care provision aimed at codifying the organizational and operational requirements for determining whether a hospital is a charitable organization under Code Section 501(c)(3). The recommendation was that nonprofit hospitals dedicate a minimum of 5 percent of their annual patient operating expenses or 5 percent of revenues to charity care, whichever was greater, in an established charity care policy. The new Baucus proposal also would address rates the uninsured are charged. Hospitals would not be allowed to charge more than the rates paid by the hospital’s highest paying insurance company or other payers.