Today Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley released a policy paper setting forth options for financing health reform. This is the third and final set of policy options for discussion before the Finance Committee marks up legislation in June. The Finance Committee has scheduled a member "walk through" to discuss the financing policy options on May 20, 2009. The financing options include, among other things: adjusting annual market basket updates and imposing “productivity adjustments” for various Medicare fee-for-service providers; a variety of payment changes impacting hospitals and home health agencies; Part B payment reforms (targeting potentially-overvalued Part B services and utilization of advanced diagnostic imaging services); improvements to promote payment accuracy for durable medical equipment; a variety of reforms pertaining to Medicaid drug rebates; policy options to reduce inappropriate spending variations across and within geographic areas; revisions to beneficiary cost-sharing obligations, including Part D means testing; and a variety of tax code changes involving the exclusion for employer-provided health coverage, changes to the itemized deduction for medical expenses, and excise tax provisions affecting alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages. The Finance Committee will accept comments on the health reform financing options through May 26, 2009.