The Kaiser Family Foundation
picked up a report
(requires paid subscription) from today's Wall Street Journal
that Sen. Grassley (Republican chair of the Senate Finance Committee) has pulled his staff out of the conference committee negotiations over the House and Senate Medicare reform bills. His complaint: not enough time is being devoted to rural health issues. Earlier reports on the process indicated that this promises to be the largest package of Medicare amendments since its inception in 1965, but Grassley's on-again-off-again relationship with Ways and Means Committee chair Bill Thomas highlights one of many schisms on the Republican side.