Clerk session vote number: 209
Description: A bill to provide for reconciliation pursuant to subsections (b)(1) and (c) of section 105 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 1998.
Bill summary: (On June 25, 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that the Line Item Veto Act (Public Law 104-130) is unconstitutional, thus restoring provisions that had been cancelled as summarized below.)
(On August 11, 1997, the President line-item-vetoed Sec. 4722(c), which deemed to be permissible broad-based health care related taxes certain taxes, fees, or assessments collected by New York State from a health care provider before June 1, 1997, for which a specified waiver has been applied, or would be but for
this provision. The provision would thus exempt such taxes, fees, or assessments from the requirement that provider-specific taxes be subtracted from the State share of Medicaid expenditures for purposes of Federal share calculation. The following revised digest of
reflects the Act as signed into law, minus the line-item-vetoed provision. For more information on the specific items vetoed, see the text of the conference report for
, and Presidential Cancellation Number 97-3.)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Food Stamp Provisions
Title II: Housing and Related Provisions
Title III: Communications and Spectrum Allocation Provisions
Title IV: Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health
Subtitle A: Medicare+Choice Program
Subtitle B: Prevention Initiatives
Subtitle C: Rural Initiatives
Subtitle D: Anti-Fraud and Abuse Provisions and
Improvements in Protecting Program Integrity
Subtitle E: Provisions Relating to Part A Only
Subtitle F: Provisions Relating to Part B Only
Subtitle G: Provisions Relating to Parts A and B
Subtitle H: Medicaid
Subtitle I: Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the
Subtitle J: State Children's Health Insurance Program
Title V: Welfare and Related Provisions
Subtitle A: TANF Block Grant
Subtitle B: Supplemental Security Income
Subtitle C: Child Support Enforcement
Subtitle D: Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for
Subtitle E: Unemployment Compensation
Subtitle F: Welfare Reform Technical Corrections
Subtitle G: Miscellaneous
Title VI: Education and Related Provisions
Subtitle A: Higher Education
Subtitle B: Repeal of Smith-Hughes Vocational Education
Title VII: Civil Service Retirement and Related Provisions
Title VIII: Veterans and Related Matters
Subtitle A: Extension of Temporary Authorities
Subtitle B: Copayments and Medical Care Cost Recovery
Subtitle C: Other Matters
Title IX: Asset Sales, User Fees, and Miscellaneous
Subtitle A: Asset Sales
Subtitle B: User Fees
Subtitle C: Miscellaneous Provisions
Title X: Budget Enforcement and Process Provisions
Subtitle A: Amendments to the Congressional Budget and
Impoundment Control Act of 1974
Subtitle B: Amendments to the Balanced Budget and
Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985
Title XI: District of Columbia Revitalization
Subtitle A: District of Columbia Retirement Funds
Subtitle B: Management Reform Plans
Subtitle C: Criminal Justice
Subtitle D: Privatization of Tax Collection and
Subtitle E: Financing of District of Columbia
Subtitle F: District of Columbia Bond Financing
Subtitle G: District of Columbia Government Budget
Subtitle H: Miscellaneous Provisions
Balanced Budget Act of 1997 -
Title I: Food Stamp Provisions
- Amends the Food Stamp Act to define "caseload" and "covered individual."
Authorizes State agencies to provide an additional 15 percent exemption from the food stamp program (program) work requirement for specified covered individuals. Provides for related caseload and exemption adjustments.
(Sec. 1002) Obligates additional FY 1996 through 2002 funds for program employment and training programs. Sets forth State allocation provisions.
(Sec. 1003) Requires State agencies, with assistance provided by the Secretary of Agriculture, to deny program benefits to prisoners incarcerated for more than 30 days.
(Sec. 1004) Directs the Secretary to make specified funds available for FY 1998 through 2001 to eligible private nonprofit organizations and State agencies for nutrition education.
Title II: Housing and Related Provisions
- Amends the Balanced Budget Downpayment Act, I to extend permanently certain foreclosure avoidance provisions under the single family housing mortgage insurance program.
(Sec. 203) Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 with respect to the section 8 rental assistance program to make specified maximum monthly rent adjustment provisions for certain new and rehabilitated and nonturnover units applicable to FY 1999 and thereafter.
Title III: Communications and Spectrum Allocation Provisions
- Amends the Communications Act of 1934 (the Act) to make competitive bidding authority with respect to licenses or construction permits involving uses of the electromagnetic spectrum (spectrum) inapplicable to such licenses and permits issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that are for: (1) certain public safety radio services; (2) initial licenses or permits assigned to existing terrestrial broadcast licensees for digital television (TV) service; or (3) noncommercial educational or public broadcast stations.
Requires the FCC to provide for the design and conduct of spectrum competitive bidding using a contingent combinatorial bidding system that permits prospective bidders to bid on combinations of licenses in a single bid and to enter multiple alternative bids within a single bidding round. Directs the FCC to prescribe methods by which a reasonable reserve price will be required, or a minimum bid will be established, to obtain any license or permit assigned under competitive bidding, unless determined not to be in the public interest.
Repeals a requirement that any funds appropriated to the FCC for FY 1994 through 1998 for assigning licenses using random selection procedures be retained in the FCC's salaries and expenses account. Requires competitive bidding information to be included in annual FCC reports in order for any funds collected after FY 1998 to be retained in such account.
Extends competitive bidding authority through FY 2008.
Prohibits the FCC, after July 1, 1997, from issuing a license or construction permit for spectrum through a random selection system. Excepts from such prohibition licenses or permits for noncommercial educational or public broadcast stations.
Provides for the applicability of competitive bidding requirements to pending comparative licensing cases.
Makes available for assignment for commercial use the 1710 to 1755 megahertz (mhz) frequency band. Directs the FCC to assign licenses for such use by competitive bidding commenced after January 1, 2001. Directs the FCC to assign certain additional spectrum by competitive bidding no later than September 30, 2002.
Directs the FCC to reallocate: (1) spectrum located at 2110 to 2150 mhz; and (2) 15 mhz located in the 1990 to 2110 range, with an exception in both cases when not in the public interest.
Requires the FCC to notify the Secretary of Commerce if it is unable to provide for effective relocation of incumbent licensees to available bands of frequencies and has identified bands suitable for such relocation that are allocated for Federal use but could be reallocated pursuant to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act (NTIA).
Amends NTIA to direct the Secretary to report to the President, the FCC, and the Congress on recommendations for reallocating frequencies allocated for Federal use other than by Government licensees under the Communications Act of 1934. Authorizes any entity which operates a Government station to accept payment for frequency relocation expenses. Provides a relocation process triggered by a petition under NTIA. Allows a Federal entity to reclaim a former frequency if it demonstrates that relocated facilities or spectrum are not comparable to its former facilities or spectrum.
Requires the Secretary to recommend for reallocation for use other than by Government stations a band of frequencies that: (1) in the aggregate span at least 20 mhz; (2) are located below three gigahertz; and (3) meet other relocation criteria.
Directs the FCC to prepare and submit to the President and the Congress a plan for the immediate allocation and assignment of frequencies identified under this title.
(Sec. 3003) Amends the Act to prohibit the renewal of a license authorizing analog TV services beyond the end of 2006, with an extension in specified circumstances.
Prohibits the FCC, in prescribing regulations relating to qualifications of spectrum bidders, from: (1) precluding any party from being a qualified bidder for spectrum allocated for any use that includes digital TV service on the basis of the FCC's duopoly rule or newspaper cross-ownership rule; or (2) applying either rule to preclude a successful bidder from using such spectrum for digital TV service.
(Sec. 3004) Directs the FCC, no later than January 1, 1998, to allocate from radio spectrum between 746 and 806 mhz: (1) 24 mhz for public safety services; and (2) the remainder for commercial purposes to be assigned by competitive bidding. Sets deadlines for the assignment of such licenses and the commencement of competitive bidding. Provides for the licensing of unused frequencies for public safety services.
(Sec. 3005) Authorizes the FCC to allocate spectrum to provide flexibility of use, as long as such use is consistent with international agreements and upon a finding that such use is in the public interest and would not deter investment or result in harmful interference among users.
(Sec. 3006) Authorizes appropriations to the FCC for FY 2001 for universal service support programs.
(Sec. 3007) Directs the FCC to conduct all competitive bidding required under this title so that proceeds from such bidding are deposited no later than the end of FY 2002.
(Sec. 3008) Requires seven days' public notice before the granting by the FCC of an application for spectrum frequency assignment under the Act.
Title IV: Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Provisions - Subtitle A: Medicare+Choice Program - Chapter 1: Medicare+Choice Program
- Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to establish a Medicare+Choice program under which each Medicare+Choice eligible individual (one entitled to benefits under Medicare part A (Hospital Insurance) and enrolled under Medicare part B (Supplementary Medical Insurance)) is entitled to elect, in accordance with certain procedures, to receive Medicare benefits either through the original Medicare fee-for-service program or through a Medicare+Choice plan.
(Sec. 4001) Outlines the types of Medicare+Choice plans that may be available, namely: (1) coordinated care plans; (2) combination of a medical savings account (MSA) plan and contributions into a Medicare+Choice MSA; and (3) private fee-for-service plans.
Sets forth various special rules regarding, among other things, residence, individuals with end-stage renal disease, and individuals covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or eligible for veterans' or military health benefits.
Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to: (1) provide for broad dissemination of coverage option and comparison information to Medicare beneficiaries and prospective Medicare beneficiaries; and (2) maintain a toll-free number for inquiries about Medicare+Choice options and program operation, as well as an Internet site through which individuals may obtain such information electronically.
Requires: (1) any Medicare+Choice organization to accept without restrictions individuals eligible to make an election at any time during which such elections are accepted; and (2) approval of Medicare+Choice marketing material and application forms before they are distributed.
Provides for continuous open enrollment and disenrollment through 2001, the first six months of 2002, and the first three months of every subsequent year, limiting an individual's change of enrollment during such initial period to one. Provides for an annual, coordinated election period during November for all participants as well as special election periods in certain circumstances.
Outlines benefits and beneficiary protections. Requires each Medicare+Choice plan (except MSA plans) to provide those items and services for which benefits are available under Medicare parts A and B (other than hospice care) and specified additional benefits, as well, at its option, as certain supplemental benefits, subject to the Secretary's approval. Excludes individuals enrolled under a MSA plan from participating in such supplemental package. Prohibits a Medicare+Choice organization from denying, limiting, or conditioning coverage or benefits based on any described health status-related factor. Prescribes plan disclosure requirements and an ongoing quality assurance program. Outlines a mechanism for grievances and appeals. Sets forth certain payment rules for providers not participating in the Medicare+Choice program.
Directs the Secretary to make monthly advance payments with respect to an individual's coverage to Medicare+Choice organizations according to a specified formula. Requires the Secretary to establish separate payment rates for individuals with end-stage renal disease.
Sets forth special rules for individuals electing MSA plans. Requires such an individual to establish a Medicare+Choice MSA into which the Secretary shall make monthly deposits out of the Medicare trust funds in accordance with prescribed guidelines. Prescribes special rules for hospice care.
Details rules for the submission and charging of premiums by each Medicare+Choice organization. Sets limitations on enrollee liability for basic, additional, and supplemental benefits. Prescribes a special rule for private fee-for-service plans. Prohibits a State from imposing a premium tax or similar tax with respect to payments to Medicare+Choice organizations.
Sets out organizational and financial requirements for Medicare+Choice organizations and provider-sponsored organizations. Directs the Secretary to establish solvency and capital adequacy standards for provider-sponsored organizations, and other standards for Medicare+Choice organizations.
Prescribes requirements, including minimum enrollment requirements, for contracts between the Secretary and Medicare+Choice organizations. Provides for: (1) intermediate sanctions and civil monetary penalties to enforce contract provisions; and (2) procedures for termination of contracts.
(Sec. 4002) Details transitional rules for the current Medicare health maintenance organization (HMO) program, as well as specified conforming changes in the Medicare supplemental health insurance policy (Medigap) program.
(Sec. 4006) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to outline special rules for Medicare+Choice MSAs. Excludes from gross income any payment by the Secretary to an individual's Medicare+Choice MSA. Excludes from qualified deductible medical expenses any amounts paid for the medical care of any individual but the account holder. Prescribes a penalty for distributions from the Medicare+Choice MSA not used for qualified medical expenses if the minimum balance is not maintained, with certain exceptions if the account holder becomes disabled or dies.
- Directs the Secretary to establish a Medicare prepaid competitive pricing demonstration project in up to four (eventually seven) designated Medicare payment areas, of which initially three shall be in urban areas and one in a rural area.
(Sec. 4012) Directs the Secretary to appoint a Competitive Pricing Advisory Committee to recommend areas for the demonstration and research design for project implementation.
(Sec. 4014) Amends the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 to extend the authorities for the social health maintenance organization (SHMO) demonstration project. Amends the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 to increase the cap on the number of individuals who may participate in a SHMO demonstration.
Directs the Secretary to submit to the Congress a plan for the integration of SHMO health plans and similar plans as an option under the Medicare+Choice program.
(Sec. 4015) Authorizes the HHS Secretary and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a demonstration (subvention) project under which the HHS Secretary shall reimburse the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from the Medicare trust funds for Medicare health care services furnished to certain targeted Medicare-eligible military retirees or dependents. Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to modify existing TRICARE contracts in order to provide Medicare health care services to project participants.
(Sec. 4016) Directs the Secretary to conduct demonstration projects in a certain number of rural and urban areas for the purpose of evaluating methods, such as case management and other models of coordinated care, that improve the quality of items and services provided to target individuals, and reduce Medicare expenditures for such items and services. Defines a target individual as an individual with a chronic illness who is enrolled under the Medicare parts A and B fee-for-service program. Provides for project funding.
(Sec. 4017) Amends the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 to direct the Secretary to work with each municipal health service demonstration project to develop a plan for the orderly transition of such projects and project participants to a non-demonstration project health care delivery system, such as through integration with a private or public health care plan, including a Medicaid managed care or Medicare+Choice plan.
(Sec. 4018) Directs the Secretary to implement a time-limited demonstration project for the purpose of evaluating the use of a third-party contractor to conduct the Medicare+Choice plan enrollment and disenrollment functions in an area.
(Sec. 4019) Extends for an additional two years certain Medicare community nursing organization demonstration projects under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987.
Chapter 3: Commissions
- Establishes the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare to: (1) review and analyze the long-term financial condition of the Medicare program; (2) identify problems that threaten the financial integrity of the Medicare trust funds, including the extent to which current Medicare update indexes do not accurately reflect inflation; and (3) analyze potential solutions to the problems identified that will ensure both the financial integrity of Medicare and the provision of appropriate benefits. Requires the Commission to make recommendations: (1) to restore the solvency of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the financial integrity of the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund; and (2) to establish the appropriate financial structure of the Medicare program as a whole and the appropriate balance of benefits covered and beneficiary contributions. Requires recommendations on: (1) the financing of graduate medical education; (2) the feasibility of allowing individuals between age 62 and the Medicare eligibility age to buy into the Medicare program; and (3) the impact of chronic disease and disability trends on future costs and quality of services under the current benefit, financing, and delivery system structure of the Medicare program. Requires a report to the President and the Congress. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 4022) Establishes the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to replace the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission and the Physician Payment Review Commission, hereby abolished. Requires the new Commission to review and make recommendations to the Congress about payment policies under Medicare (including certain specific payment-related topics). Authorizes appropriations.
Chapter 4: Medigap Protections
- Amends SSA title XVIII with respect to the issuer of a Medicare supplemental (Medigap) policy in the case of certain individuals terminated by an employee welfare benefit plan providing supplementary health benefits who seek to enroll under a Medigap policy not later than 63 days after termination or disenrollment. Prohibits the Medigap issuer from: (1) denying or conditioning the issuance or effectiveness of such a policy; (2) discriminating in the pricing of such policy because of health status, claims experience, receipt of health care, or medical condition; or (3) imposing an exclusion of benefits based on a pre-existing condition.
(Sec. 4031) Specifies limitations on the imposition of preexisting condition exclusions during the initial open enrollment period in the case of a Medicare supplemental policy issued to an individual who is age 65 or older with a certain minimum period of creditable coverage.
(Sec. 4032) Creates under the Medicare supplemental policy program a high deductible feature which requires the policy beneficiary to pay annual out-of-pocket expenses (other than premiums) of $1,500 (indexed for inflation) before the policy begins payment of benefits.
Chapter 5: Tax Treatment of Hospitals Participating in Provider- Sponsored Organizations
- Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide that an organization shall not fail to be treated as a tax-exempt charitable organization solely because a hospital which it owns and operates also participates in a provider-sponsored organization, whether or not the provider-sponsored organization is exempt from tax. Provides that any person with a material financial interest in such a provider-sponsored organization shall be treated as a private shareholder or individual with respect to the hospital.
Subtitle B: Prevention Initiatives
- Outlines various specified new preventive health measures covered under Medicare, namely coverage for: (1) an annual screening mammography for women over age 39 and triennial screening pap smear and screening pelvic exam for any woman (annually for a woman with cervical or vaginal cancer or other abnormality, or who is at high risk of developing such a cancer), while providing for a waiver of deductible; (2) annual prostate cancer screening tests; (3) colorectal cancer screening tests, subject to prescribed frequency and payment limits; (4) diabetes outpatient self-management training services, including blood-testing strips (with a ten percent payment reduction after 1997) and glucose monitors as durable medical equipment (DME) for individuals with diabetes; and (5) bone mass measurements for qualified individuals.
(Sec. 4105) Directs the Secretary to establish outcome measures, including glysolated hemoglobin (past 90-day average blood sugar levels), for the purpose of evaluating the improvement of health status of Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes mellitus, with a view to recommending coverage modifications.
(Sec. 4107) Extends through FY 2002 the Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccination Campaign of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 4108) Directs the Secretary to request the National Academy of Sciences to analyze (for a report to specified congressional committees) the expansion or modification of Medicare preventive benefits to include medical nutrition therapy services by a registered dietitian, skin cancer screening, medically necessary dental care, and other specified items.
Subtitle C: Rural Initiatives
- Replaces the Essential Access Community Hospital Program with an optional Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program under which participating States shall develop at least one rural health network in the State and at least one facility designated as a critical access hospital in accordance with prescribed guidelines. Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to States for: (1) planning and implementation of the program; and (2) establishment or expansion of rural emergency medical services. Authorizes appropriations.
Directs the HCFA Administrator to report to the Congress on the feasibility of, and administrative requirements necessary to establish, an alternative for certain medical diagnoses to the current 96-hour limitation for inpatient care in critical access hospitals.
(Sec. 4202) Amends SSA title XVIII to prohibit denial, on the basis of wage comparisons, of a rural referral center's request for reclassification.
Provides that any hospital classified as a rural referral center for FY 1991 shall be classified as such for FY 1998 and each subsequent fiscal year.
(Sec. 4204) Extends through FY 2001 the special treatment of payment methodology and target amount for Medicare-dependent, small rural hospitals.
(Sec. 4205) Amends requirements for rural health clinic services with respect to: (1) per-visit payment limits for provider-based clinics; (2) mandatory quality assessment and performance improvement programs; (3) limitation of waivers of certain staffing requirements to clinics participating in the rural health clinic program; (4) the insufficiency of needed health care practitioners in shortage areas; and (5) regulations providing for payment for certain physician assistant services.
(Sec. 4206) Directs the Secretary to make payments from the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund under Medicare part B in accordance with a specified payment methodology for professional consultation via telecommunications systems with a physician or practitioner furnishing a service for which payment may be made to a Medicare beneficiary residing in a rural health professional shortage area, notwithstanding that the individual physician or practitioner providing the professional consultation is not at the same location as the physician or practitioner furnishing the service to that beneficiary.
Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress: (1) a detailed analysis of telemedicine and telehealth (T&T) services; and (2) an examination of the possibility of making similar payments for professional consultation via telecommunications systems to Medicare beneficiaries who do not reside in a rural health professional shortage area, are homebound or nursing homebound, and for whom being transferred for health care services imposes a serious hardship.
(Sec. 4207) Directs the Secretary to conduct a demonstration project to use eligible health care provider telemedicine networks to apply high-capacity computing and advanced networks to improve primary care and prevent health care complications to Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes mellitus who reside in medically underserved rural or inner-city areas. Provides funding.
Subtitle D: Anti-Fraud and Abuse Provisions and
Improvements in Protecting Program Integrity - Chapter 1: Revisions to Sanctions for Fraud and Abuse
- Amends SSA title XI, with respect to health care related crimes, to exclude from the Medicare and State health care programs any person: (1) for ten years for one previous conviction for one or more offenses; and (2) permanently for two or more previous convictions of one or more offenses.
(Sec. 4302) Authorizes the Secretary to refuse to enter into Medicare agreements with individuals or entities convicted of felonies for offenses determined inconsistent with the best interests of program beneficiaries.
(Sec. 4303) Authorizes the Secretary to exclude from the Medicare program any entity with respect to which a sanctioned person with an ownership or control interest in it transfers such interest in anticipation of (or following) a conviction, assessment, or exclusion against the person, to an immediate family member or member of the household who continues to maintain such an interest.
(Sec. 4304) Provides for the imposition of civil monetary penalties for: (1) any person who arranges or contracts with an individual or entity that the person knows or should know is excluded from participation in a Federal health care program; and (2) kickbacks.
Chapter 2: Improvements in Protecting Program Integrity
- Amends SSA title XVIII to require the Secretary, in the annual notice of Medicare benefits, to urge beneficiaries to check the notice and any itemized statement for accuracy and report any errors or questionable charges by calling a certain toll-free number.
Authorizes Medicare beneficiaries to submit written requests for itemized bills of medical or other items or services provided, and review them. Requires the Secretary to take measures to recover amounts unnecessarily paid out.
(Sec. 4312) Outlines various specified requirements regarding disclosure of information and surety bonds with regard to DME suppliers. Includes surety bond requirements for home health agencies. Authorizes the Secretary to apply disclosure and surety bond requirements to other health care providers or item and service suppliers (except physicians or practitioners). Applies surety bond requirements to comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities (CORFs) and to rehabilitation agencies.
(Sec. 4313) Requires any participating entity to disclose to the Secretary its own employer identification numbers and social security account numbers, as well as those of persons with ownership or control interests and subcontractors in which the entity has a five percent or greater interest. Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on the steps taken to assure the confidentiality of such social security account numbers.
(Sec. 4314) Requires the Secretary, upon a party's request, to issue binding advisory opinions on whether a referral relating to designated health services (other than clinical laboratory services) is a prohibited physician self-referral.
(Sec. 4315) Amends SSA title XVIII to: (1) replace the reasonable charge payment methodology with fee schedules developed by the Secretary for particular services; (2) provide for application of inherent reasonableness to charges for all Medicare part B services other than physicians' services; (3) require bills and requests for payment for services by non-physician practitioners to include diagnostic codes; (4) outline requirements to provide diagnostic information when ordering certain items or services furnished by another entity; (5) mandate establishment of competitive acquisition areas for contract award purposes for the furnishing under Medicare part B after 1997 of described items and services; and (6) prohibit payment under Medicare part A or part B for any expenses for an item or service furnished in a competitive acquisition area by an entity other than an entity with which the Secretary has contracted, except for urgent need, or in other circumstances specified by the Secretary.
(Sec. 4320) Excludes from reasonable costs and declares unreimbursable under Medicare any payments for certain items unrelated to patient care, including: (1) entertainment, gifts, or donations; (2) personal use of motor vehicles; (3) costs for fines and penalties resulting from violations of Federal, State, or local laws; and (4) education expenses for spouses or other dependents of service providers, their employees, or contractors.
(Sec. 4321) Requires a Medicare hospital's discharge planning process to include information on the availability of home health services through certain individuals or entities. Requires a discharge plan: (1) not to specify or otherwise limit the qualified provider which may provide home health services; and (2) identify any entity to whom the individual is referred in which the hospital has a disclosable financial interest. Requires the service provider agreement to require disclosure of any financial interest a hospital has in any entity to which individuals are referred, or any entity has in the hospital, and related information.
Chapter 3: Clarifications and Technical Changes
- Makes technical amendments with respect to fraud and abuse.
Subtitle E: Provisions Relating to Part A Only - Chapter 1: Payment of PPS Hospitals
- Revises requirements for: (1) prospective payment system (PPS) hospital payment updates; (2) maintenance of savings from the temporary reduction in capital payments for prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals; (3) additional payments to any hospital with a disproportionate share of low-income patients (disproportionate share hospital (DSH)); (4) the sales price of a Medicare capital asset (book value); (5) elimination of indirect medical education (IME) and DSH payments attributable to outlier payments; (6) the base rate of payments to Puerto Rico hospitals; (7) payments to hospitals for certain discharges to post-acute care; (8) inclusion of Stanly County, North Carolina, in the large urban area of Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill-North Carolina-South Carolina; and (9) the floor on wage area indexes.
(Sec. 4409) Requires the Secretary to publish and use alternative guidelines under which certain disproportionately large hospitals qualify for geographic reclassification.
Chapter 2: Payment of PPS-Exempt Hospitals
- Revises requirements for the payment of PPS-exempt hospitals, including those for: (1) payment updates; (2) reductions to capital payments; (3) bonus and relief payments; (4) payment and the target amount for new providers; (5) treatment of certain long-term care hospitals located within other hospitals; (6) rebasing; (7) certain cancer hospitals; and (8) elimination of exemptions for certain hospitals.
(Sec. 4421) Provides for a Medicare PPS for inpatient rehabilitation hospital services.
(Sec. 4422) Directs the Secretary to submit to the Congress a legislative proposal for establishing a case-mix adjusted PPS for long-term care hospitals.
Chapter 3: Payment for Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Declares that updates to per diem limits, with respect to payments to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), effective for FY 1998, shall be based on cost limits effective for FY 1997.
(Sec. 4432) Mandates a PPS for SNF services along with consolidated billing for them.
Directs the Secretary, in order to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries are furnished appropriate SNF services, to establish a thorough medical review process to examine the provisions of this section and their effect on the quality of covered SNF services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries.
Chapter 4: Provisions Related to Hospice Services
- Provides for update of payments for hospice services. Bases payment for home hospice care on the location where care is furnished. Revises the home hospice care benefit period. Provides for home hospice care coverage of any other items and services specified in a plan. Allows waiver of certain staffing requirements for hospice care programs in non-urbanized areas.
Chapter 5: Other Payment Provisions
- Requires reductions in payments for enrollee bad debt. Repeals the termination date to make a permanent extension of the hemophilia passthrough. Requires a certain reduction in the part A Medicare premium for specified public retirees. Authorizes Medicare and Medicaid coverage of inpatient hospital and post-hospital extended care services in religious nonmedical health care institutions (currently limited to Christian Science sanatoria).
Subtitle F: Provisions Relating to Part B Only - Chapter 1: Services of Health Professionals
- Revises requirements for the payment of physicians' services, with changes: (1) establishing a single conversion factor for 1998; (2) adding new update provisions; (3) replacing the volume performance standard with sustainable growth rate; (4) adding payment rules for anesthesia services; and (5) providing for adjustments in relative value units for 1998, and the application of resource-based methodology to malpractice relative value units.
(Sec. 4505) Directs the Comptroller General to review and evaluate the proposed rule on resource-based methodology for practice expenses issued by the HCFA.
(Sec. 4506) Directs the Secretary to determine for each hospital: (1) its hospital-specific per discharge relative value for physicians' services; and (2) whether such value is projected to be excessive. Requires the Secretary to notify the medical executive committee of a subset of the hospitals identified as having an excessive hospital-specific relative value, and evaluate their responses with the responses of other hospitals so identified that were not notified.
(Sec. 4507) Amends SSA title XVIII to declare that nothing shall prohibit a physician or practitioner from privately contracting with a Medicare beneficiary for any item or service for which no Medicare claim will be submitted, and for which the physician or practitioner shall receive no Medicare reimbursement.
(Sec. 4511) Increases Medicare reimbursement for nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and physician assistants.
(Sec. 4513) Repeals the requirement of an X-ray for reimbursement for chiropractic services. Directs the Secretary to develop utilization guidelines for the coverage of chiropractic services where a subluxation has not been demonstrated by an X-ray.
Chapter 2: Payment for Hospital Outpatient Department Services
- Eliminates formula-driven overpayments for certain outpatient hospital services.
(Sec. 4522) Extends the current reductions in payments for capital-related and other costs of hospital outpatient services.
(Sec. 4523) Directs the Secretary to establish a PPS for hospital outpatient department services.
Chapter 3: Ambulance Services
- Provides for certain interim reductions in payments for ambulance services. Directs the Secretary to establish a prospective fee schedule for payment of such services.
Provides that, in promulgating regulations for coverage of ambulance services, the Secretary may cover advanced life support services provided by a paramedic intercept service provider (ALS intercept services) in a rural area if specified conditions are met.
(Sec. 4532) Directs the Secretary to establish up to three demonstration projects contracting with local governments for ambulance services paid for under Medicare.
Chapter 4: Prospective Payment for Outpatient Rehabilitative Services
- Provides for a PPS for outpatient physical (including speech-language pathology) and occupational therapy services.
Chapter 5: Other Payment Provisions
- Provides for a reduction in payment amounts for items of DME and for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests. Provides for a payment freeze for parenteral and enteral nutrients, supplies, and equipment. Revises update requirements for payment for orthotics and prosthetics, and other payment requirements for oxygen and oxygen equipment, ambulatory surgical services, and drugs and biologicals.
(Sec. 4552) Requires the Comptroller General to study and report to specified congressional committees on access to home oxygen equipment. Requires the Secretary to arrange for peer review organizations to evaluate such access.
(Sec. 4553) Directs the Secretary to request the National Academy of Sciences to study (for a report to specified congressional committees) Medicare payments for clinical laboratory tests.
(Sec. 4554) Directs the Secretary to divide the United States into up to five regions, and designate a single carrier for each region, for the payment of Medicare part B claims for clinical diagnostic laboratory services. Requires the Secretary to adopt uniform policies for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests.
(Sec. 4557) Provides for coverage of oral anti-nausea drugs under a chemotherapeutic regimen.
(Sec. 4558) Requires the Secretary to: (1) audit cost reports of each renal dialysis provider at least once every three years; and (2) develop a method to measure and report on the quality of Medicare renal dialysis services.
(Sec. 4559) Directs the Secretary, for electrocardiogram tests furnished during 1998, to restore separate part B payment for electrocardiogram transportation based upon methods in effect on December 31, 1996. Requires the Secretary, by a certain deadline, to recommend to specified congressional committees whether portable electrocardiogram transportation should be covered under Medicare part B.
Chapter 6: Part B Premium and Related Provisions
- Revises the formula for the monthly Medicare part B premium rate the Secretary promulgates each September for the following calendar year. Requires such rate to equal 50 percent of the monthly actuarial rate for enrollees age 65 and over for that succeeding calendar year.
(Sec. 4581) Provides for a special Medicare enrollment period, with no premium penalty for late enrollment, for certain disabled workers whose continuous enrollment under an employer's group health plan is involuntarily terminated in certain circumstances.
(Sec. 4582) Allows appropriate State or local governmental entities to elect to pay part B premiums for certain eligible individuals.
Subtitle G: Provisions Relating to Parts A and B - Chapter 1: Home Health Services and Benefits
- Provides that, in establishing payment limits for cost reporting periods beginning after September 30, 1997, the Secretary shall not take into account any changes in the home health market basket with respect to cost reporting periods which began on or after July 1, 1994, and before July 1, 1996.
(Sec. 4602) Revises requirements for interim payments for home health services.
Directs the Secretary to expand research on a PPS for home health agencies under the Medicare program that ties prospective payments to a unit of service.
(Sec. 4603) Directs the Secretary to establish a PPS for home health services for cost reporting periods beginning in FY 2000.
(Sec. 4604) Bases the payment for home health services on the location where the service is furnished.
(Sec. 4611) Provides for a modification of the Medicare part A home health benefit for individuals enrolled under Medicare part B. Provides for specified post-institutional home health services.
(Sec. 4613) Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on the criteria that should be applied in determining whether an individual is homebound for purposes of qualifying for Medicare home health services.
(Sec. 4614) Provides for the denial of home health claims based on home health services the frequency and duration of which are in excess of normative guidelines established by the Secretary.
(Sec. 4615) Denies payment for home health benefits based solely on venipuncture to obtain a blood sample.
(Sec. 4616) Directs the Secretary to estimate part A and part B outlays for FY 1998 through 2002 for specified congressional committees, and report annually a comparison of actual outlays with such estimates.
Chapter 2: Graduate Medical Education
- Revises requirements for direct and indirect Medicare payments for graduate medical education (GME). Limits the number of residents in allopathic and osteopathic medicine. Permits payment to qualified nonhospital providers for direct GME costs. Prohibits restandardization of certain indirect GME payment amounts. Requires the Secretary to provide for direct and indirect GME payments to hospitals for Medicare+Choice enrollees. Makes a special reimbursement rule for primary care combined residency programs, setting the period of board eligibility.
(Sec. 4626) Provides for incentive payments to hospitals under plans for voluntary reduction in the number of full-time equivalent residents in an approved medical training program.
(Sec. 4628) Directs the Secretary to establish a demonstration project under which GME payments shall be made to consortia of teaching hospitals and other medical entities.
(Sec. 4629) Directs the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to develop recommendations to the Congress on whether and to what extent Medicare payment policies and other Federal policies regarding teaching hospitals and GME should be changed.
(Sec. 4630) Directs the Secretary to study and report to the appropriate congressional committees on variations among hospitals in the overhead and supervisory physician components of their direct medical education costs.
Chapter 3: Provisions Relating to Medicare Secondary Payer
- Revises requirements for Medicare as secondary payer. Permits recovery against third party administrators of primary plans. Extends the claims filing period for employer group health plans.
Chapter 4: Other Provisions
- Amends SSA title XVIII to require placement of an advance directive in a prominent part of the individual's current medical record.
(Sec. 4642) Provides for an increased certification period for certain organ procurement organizations.
(Sec. 4643) Establishes in the HCFA the position of Chief Actuary.
Subtitle H: Medicaid - Chapter 1: Managed Care
- Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid) to establish a new part B (Managed Care) giving States the option to require Medicaid-eligible individuals (except Medicare beneficiaries, Medicare-eligible individuals, and certain children with special needs) to enroll in managed care arrangements of the individual's choice as a condition of receiving Medicaid.
(Sec. 4702) Grants States the option of providing Medicaid coverage of primary care case management services without the need for a waiver.
(Sec. 4703) Repeals the (75-25) requirement that Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries constitute less than 75 percent of the membership of a participating HMO. Repeals the prohibition on co-payments for services furnished by HMOs.
(Sec. 4704) Prescribes requirements for: (1) access to emergency care; (2) annual external independent review of managed care entity activities and other specified quality care assurance measures; and (3) fraud and abuse prohibitions and protections.
(Sec. 4705) Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid) to require any State contracting with Medicaid managed care organizations to develop and implement a quality assessment and improvement strategy incorporating certain access standards, monitoring procedures, and other measures. Directs the Comptroller General to analyze and report to specified congressional committees on the quality assurance programs and accreditation standards applicable to managed care entities operating in the private sector or under Medicare contracts to determine if such programs and standards consider the accessibility and quality of the health care items and services delivered under such contracts to low-income individuals.
Directs the Secretary to study and report to such committees on safeguards that may be needed to ensure that the health care needs of individuals with special health care needs and chronic conditions who are enrolled with Medicaid managed care organizations are adequately met.
(Sec. 4706) Requires an HMO to meet solvency standards established by the State for private HMOs, or be State-licensed or -certified as a risk-bearing entity.
(Sec. 4708) Increases from $100,000 to $1 million, indexed annually, the threshold amount for HMO contracts requiring the Secretary's prior approval. Permits the same copayments in HMOs as in fee-for-service.
Chapter 2: Flexibility in Payment of Providers
- Repeals "Boren Amendment" provider reimbursement requirements. Requires the Secretary to study and report to the appropriate congressional committees on the effect on access to services, service quality, and service safety of the rate-setting methods used by States as a result of such repeal.
(Sec. 4712) Specifies reductions from 100 percent to 70 percent between FY 1999 through 2003 in the percentage of reasonable costs that shall be paid under a State plan for federally-qualified health center and rural health clinic services (with a special supplemental payment for services furnished under certain managed care contracts).
(Sec. 4713) Repeals payment rate requirements for obstetrical and pediatric services.
(Sec. 4714) Revises requirements for Medicaid payment rates for qualified Medicare beneficiaries, placing a limitation on nonparticipating providers.
(Sec. 4715) Declares that, in the case of a Medicaid-eligible veteran residing in a State veterans' home, any veterans' pension over $90 per month shall be counted as income only for the purpose of applying such excess payment to the State veterans' home's cost of providing nursing care to the veteran.
Chapter 3: Federal Payments to States
- Revises specified limitations of Federal payments for inpatient hospital services furnished by disproportionate share hospitals (DSH), including limitations on certain State DSH expenditures to institutions for mental diseases or other mental health facilities. Requires direct State Medicaid payment to hospitals for managed care enrollees.
(Sec. 4722) Revises the treatment as broad-based health care related taxes of certain State hospital taxes which currently are not subtracted as revenues from the State share of Medicaid expenditures for purposes of calculating the Federal share of such expenditures. Declares that an exemption from such State hospital tax for certain Federal-tax-exempt hospitals that do not accept Medicaid or Medicare payments (provide free care) shall not disqualify the hospital tax as a broad-based health care related tax (thus allowing continued exclusion of such State hospital tax from the requirement that provider-specific taxes be subtracted from the State share of Medicaid expenditures for purposes of Federal share calculation).
(Sec. 4723) Specifies additional funding for State emergency health services furnished to undocumented aliens.
(Sec. 4724) Prohibits the expenditure of Medicaid funds for roads, bridges, stadiums, and other items and services not covered by a State plan. Requires home health agencies to provide a surety bond. Revises conflict-of-interest safeguards. Declares that States are not required to provide medical assistance for items or services furnished by a person or entity convicted of a felony for an offense inconsistent with the best interests of beneficiaries under the State plan. Requires State action for program and beneficiary protection against waste, fraud, and abuse. Conditions issuance or renewal of a DME supplier provider number on the supplier's provision of a surety bond and disclosure of all persons with ownership or control interests in the supplier, and of all subcontractors in which the supplier has a five percent or greater interest.
(Sec. 4725) Provides for increased Federal medical assistance percentages (FMAPs) for the District of Columbia and Alaska and increased payment caps for the territories.
Chapter 4: Eligibility
- Grants States the option to provide for 12-month continuous Medicaid eligibility for children.
(Sec. 4732) Requires State Medicaid plan coverage of the Medicare cost-sharing for certain additional low-income Medicare beneficiaries whose income otherwise disqualifies them for specified Medicare benefits.
(Sec. 4733) Grants States the option to permit workers with disabilities to buy into Medicaid.
(Sec. 4734) Prescribes criminal penalties for knowingly and willfully, for a fee, counseling or assisting an individual to dispose of assets (including transfer in trust) in order for that individual to become Medicaid-eligible (fraudulent eligibility).
(Sec. 4735) Declares that certain payments in a class settlement of the case of Susan Walker v. Bayer Corporation shall not be considered income or resources in determining Medicaid eligibility.
Chapter 5: Benefits
- Changes from mandatory to discretionary a State's authority to enroll individuals under private group health plans and pay their premiums.
(Sec. 4742) Repeals: (1) certain physician qualification requirements with respect to services to pregnant women and to children under age 21; and (2) the requirement of prior institutionalization with respect to habilitation services furnished under a waiver for home or community-based services.
(Sec. 4744) Requires the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment benefits.
Chapter 6: Administration and Miscellaneous
- Repeals requirements for inspections of the care being provided at mental hospitals and intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded (ICFS-MR).
(Sec. 4752) Authorizes a State, in lieu of terminating a noncompliant ICFS-MR, to establish alternative remedies if the State demonstrates to the Secretary's satisfaction that such alternative remedies are effective in deterring noncompliance and correcting deficiencies.
(Sec. 4753) Revises requirements for mechanized claims processing and information retrieval systems.
(Sec. 4754) Repeals the requirement for State refund to the Federal Government of any payments received during remediation of a noncompliant nursing facility.
(Sec. 4755) Requires States to establish procedures to permit a nurse aide, in the case of a finding of neglect, to petition the State for name removal from the nurse aide registry upon a State determination that: (1) the employment and personal history of the nurse aide does not reflect a pattern of abusive behavior or neglect; and (2) the neglect involved in the original finding was a singular occurrence.
(Sec. 4756) Includes the DRUGDEX Information System among the compendia to be used in drug use review for Medicaid payment.
(Sec. 4757) Applies certain requirements to the extension of statewide comprehensive research and demonstration projects for which waivers of Medicaid compliance have been granted.
(Sec. 4758) Amends the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 to extend the moratorium on the treatment of the Kent Community Hospital Complex and Saginaw Community Hospital in Michigan as institutions for mental diseases for purposes of Medicaid reimbursement.
Subtitle I: Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
- Amends SSA title XVIII to provide for Medicare programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE programs) for individuals age 55 or older who require the level of care required under the State Medicaid plan for coverage of nursing facility services. Specifies benefit and payment requirements. Limits PACE provider eligibility to public and private non-profit entities; but requires the Secretary to waive such limitations to demonstrate the operation of a PACE program by a private, for-profit entity.
(Sec. 4802) Amends SSA title XIX to authorize a State to establish a Medicaid program of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE) for individuals who need not be eligible for Medicare part A benefits, or enrolled under Medicare part B.
(Sec. 4804) Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on the quality and cost of providing PACE program services under Medicare and Medicaid, specifically comparing the costs, quality, and access to services by private, for-profit entities under the demonstration projects with the costs, quality, and access to services of other PACE providers.
Subtitle J: State Children's Health Insurance Program - Chapter 1: State Children's Health Insurance Program
- Amends SSA to add a new title XXI (State Children's Health Insurance Program) in order to provide funds to States to expand the provision of child health assistance to uninsured, low-income children. Requires a State to submit for the Secretary's approval a child health plan for the use of funds, containing strategic objectives, performance goals, and performance measures. Mandates coverage equivalent to benefits coverage in a benchmark benefit package, consisting of benefits offered by either: (1) the Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program (FEHBP); (2) a State employee health benefit plan; or (3) an HMO. Makes appropriations to carry out this title. Allows their use for abortion only if necessary to save the life of the mother or if the pregnancy results from rape or incest.
Chapter 2: Expanded Coverage of Children Under Medicaid
- Amends SSA title XIX to provide for an increased Medicaid FMAP for expanded coverage of targeted low-income children.
(Sec. 4912) Authorizes an approved State plan to make Medicaid available to a low-income child during a specified presumptive eligibility period after determination that family income does not exceed a certain level.
(Sec. 4913) Provides for continuation of Medicaid eligibility for disabled children who lose benefits under SSA title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) (SSI).
Chapter 3: Diabetes Grant Programs
- Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary to make grants for services for the prevention and treatment of type I diabetes in children, and for research in innovative approaches to such services. Provides for funding.
(Sec. 4922) Directs the Secretary to make grants for services for the prevention and treatment of type I diabetes in Indians through the Indian Health Service and tribal and urban Indian health programs.
(Sec. 4923) Requires the Secretary to evaluate such programs and report to the Congress.
Title V: Welfare and Related Provisions
Subtitle A: TANF Block Grant
- Amends part A (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) (TANF) of SSA title IV to establish a program of welfare-to-work grants to States.
(Sec. 5001) Sets forth requirements relating to State entitlement to non-competitive formula grants under such program and State distribution of such funds among local governments. Authorizes State Governors to distribute up to 15 percent of such grant funds for projects to help long-term welfare recipients enter unsubsidized employment.
Provides for competitive grants, based on program effectiveness and other factors, including the history of the applicant's success in moving individuals with multiple barriers into work, for State-approved projects proposed by private industry councils or local governments.
Sets forth rules relating to required beneficiaries and targeting of individuals with characteristics associated with long-term welfare dependency.
Authorizes use of grant funds to provide work-related services to individuals who have reached the five-year limit on assistance.
Directs the Secretary of Labor to use certain set-aside funds to make grants to each successful performance State in FY 2000.
Makes appropriations for FY 1998 and 1999 for grants.
Sets forth requirements for: (1) nondisplacement of other workers by participants in work activities under this program; (2) applicable health and safety standards; and (3) grievance procedures with respect to alleged violations of such nondisplacement and health and safety requirements.
Provides for such grants to outlying areas territories and to Indian tribes.
Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a plan to evaluate the use of such grants.
Sets forth penalties for: (1) failure of a State to maintain its historic effort during a year in which a welfare-to-work grant is received; and (2) misuse of competitive welfare-to-work grant funds.
Declares that State sanctions against recipients for TANF program violations are not wage reductions.
(Sec. 5002) Limits to not more than ten percent the portion of such welfare-to-work grant funds which a State may use to carry out State programs under SSA title XX block grants to States for social services.
(Sec. 5003) Increases from 20 percent to 30 percent of individuals in all families and in two-parent families the limitation on the number of persons who may be treated as engaged in work by reason of participation in a vocational education program or, in the case of teen heads of household, maintenance of satisfactory school attendance.
(Sec. 5004) Requires reduction of a State's welfare-to-work grant if a State fails to reduce assistance for recipients refusing work without good cause.
Subtitle B: Supplemental Security Income
- Amends the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRAWORA) to extend by six months the deadline for certain childhood disability redeterminations under SSA title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) (SSI).
(Sec. 5102) Prescribes the schedule of administrative fees the Commissioner of Social Security shall assess each State from FY 1997 through 2003 and after for making optional and mandatory State SSI payments to individuals. Revises requirements for deposit of such fees, directing that a portion be credited to a special fund for FY 1998 and subsequent fiscal years for use in defraying expenses. Provides that the amounts so credited shall not be scored as receipts under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act), but credited as a discretionary offset to discretionary spending. Authorizes appropriations.
Subtitle C: Child Support Enforcement
- Amends SSA title III (Unemployment Insurance) with respect to the authority to permit certain redisclosures of wage and claim information for purposes related to the child support enforcement program under SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity).
Subtitle D: Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for Aliens
- Amends PRAWORA to make aliens eligible for SSI who, as of the date of enactment of such Act, were receiving such benefits, or were legally residing in the United States and are blind or disabled. Extends the SSI grandfather provision through September 30, 1998.
(Sec. 5302) Extends from five to seven years the refugee and asylee eligibility period for SSI and Medicaid, and includes Cuban and Haitian entrants within such category. Provides a five-year food stamp eligibility period for such aliens.
Includes Cuban and Haitian entrants within the definition of "qualified alien" for purposes of welfare and public benefits. Exempts such aliens from specified periods of ineligibility for State and Federal means-tested benefits.
(Sec. 5303) Exempts: (1) certain American Indians (including persons born in Canada) from SSI and Medicaid eligibility limitations; and (2) certain SSI recipients with pre-January 1, 1979 applications from SSI eligibility limitations.
(Sec. 5305) States that an alien who is ineligible for food stamps shall not be eligible for such program based upon SSI eligibility. Authorizes Medicaid eligibility based upon SSI eligibility.
(Sec. 5306) Treats certain Amerasian immigrants as refugees for purposes of specified public benefits eligibility.
(Sec. 5307) Authorizes States to require State and local assistance applicants to provide verification of eligibility.
Subtitle E: Unemployment Compensation
- Declares that no State law definition of a base period shall be considered as meeting the SSA title III (Unemployment Insurance) requirement for a method of administration reasonably calculated to insure full payment of unemployment compensation when due.
(Sec. 5402) Amends SSA title IX (Employment Security) to increase the Federal Unemployment Account ceiling.
(Sec. 5403) Provides for a special distribution to States of year-end excesses from the Unemployment Trust Fund.
(Sec. 5404) Restricts interest-free advances to State accounts in the Unemployment Trust Fund to States which meet funding goals established by the Secretary of Labor.
(Sec. 5405) Revises the Internal Revenue Code to exempt from the Federal unemployment tax any election officials or election workers whose total annual remuneration for their services is under $1,000.
(Sec. 5406) Excludes any service performed by a prison inmate from the definition of employment for unemployment compensation purposes.
(Sec. 5407) Exempts from the Federal unemployment tax any services performed for certain income tax-exempt elementary or secondary schools which are operated primarily for religious purposes.
(Sec. 5408) Amends SSA title III (Unemployment Insurance) to authorize additional appropriations out of the employment security administration account to carry out State program integrity activities for unemployment compensation, including initial claims review, eligibility review, benefit payments control, and employer liability auditing activities.
Subtitle F: Welfare Reform Technical Corrections
- Chapter 1: Block Grants For Temporary Assistance To Needy Families
- Amends part A (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) (TANF) of SSA title IV to make various specified technical as well as substantive amendments with regard to sundry (welfare reform) provisions added by PRAWORA.
(Sec. 5501) Provides for a later deadline for submission of State TANF plans.
(Sec. 5502) Revises the computation of bonus grants to States for a decrease in illegitimacy, requiring: (1) use of calendar year instead of fiscal year data; (2) use of the ratio of out-of-wedlock births to all births instead of the number of out-of-wedlock births; and (3) that certain territories be taken into account.
Revises the formula for annual reconciliation of payments to States with specified maximums. Limits to non-needy States the requirement for annual State remission of excess funds to HHS.
(Sec. 5504) Revises specified mandatory work requirements. States that a family with a disabled parent shall not be treated as a two-parent family. Allows the minimum work requirement for a two-parent family to be shared between both parents, if it amounts to a total of at least 55 hours per week. Deems the caretaker relative of a child under age six to meet work requirements if he or she is engaged in work for 20 hours per week. Allows 12 weeks of job search to count as work in a needy State. Extends to married teens the rule that receipt of sufficient education is enough to meet work participation requirements.
(Sec. 5505) Reinstates certain special rules applicable to aliens (non-213A aliens) who entered the country under affidavits of support formerly used (before PRAWORA added section 213A to the Immigration and Nationality Act, requiring such affidavits to be contracts enforceable against the sponsor by the alien or by the Federal Government for recovery of any public assistance paid the alien). Revises the income deeming rule for such aliens.
(Sec. 5506) Changes from one month to 45 days the deadline for States to file quarterly reports before incurring a penalty. Conforms TANF penalties to those under SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity). Provides for additional State TANF grant reductions for States which fail to expend additional State funds to replace previous grant penalty reductions.
(Sec. 5507) Requires State quarterly reports to specify: (1) any disability benefits a child is receiving; (2) whether or not a family member under age 20 is also a parent of a child in the family; and (3) the number of families and individuals receiving TANF, and the total dollar value of TANF received by all families.
(Sec. 5508) Reduces appropriations for tribal work activities programs.
(Sec. 5509) Revises requirements for the methodology for determining child poverty rates to require county-by-county estimates of children in poverty only to the extent available.
(Sec. 5512) Amends SSA title XI to: (1) revise the limitation on total payments to each territory under TANF and other specified SSA programs to require the disregard of certain payments under TANF in determining such limitation; and (2) treat certain child care and social services expenditures by territories as SSA title IV part A expenditures for matching grant purposes.
(Sec. 5513) Makes conforming amendments to SSA title IV parts D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) and E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance).
(Sec. 5516) Amends PRAWORA with regard to the denial of assistance and benefits for drug-related convictions. Revises the exemption from benefit denial for convictions on or before enactment of PRAWORA to specify convictions relating to conduct on or before such enactment date.
Chapter 2: Supplemental Security Income
- Amends SSA title XVI and PRAWORA to make conforming and technical amendments relating to certain eligibility restrictions on prisoners and eligibility redeterminations and continuing disability reviews with respect to SSI benefits for disabled children.
(Sec. 5524) Amends SSA title XI part A (General Provisions) to designate the Commissioner of Social Security instead of the HHS Secretary as the authority who shall determine the timing of grants and payments for jointly financed cooperative agreements or grants concerning SSA title XVI research or demonstration projects.
(Sec. 5525) Amends the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996 to revise the effective dates of requirements concerning the denial of SSI disability benefits to drug addicts and alcoholics and treatment referrals of SSI beneficiaries who are drug addicts and alcoholics. Specifies administrative and judicial circumstances in which certain SSI claims which have been denied may not be considered finally adjudicated before enactment of such Act.
(Sec. 5526) Amends Federal law to repeal the requirement that the Social Security Advisory Board appoint three professional staff members one of whom does not belong to the political party of a majority of the Board.
(Sec. 5527) Makes the day designated for delivery of SSI benefit payments under SSA title XVI for October 2000 the second day of such month.
Chapter 3: Child Support
- Amends SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) to modify child support requirements affecting: (1) individuals subject to fee for child support enforcement services; (2) distribution of State-collected support and State options for applicability of certain rules; (3) distribution of collections with respect to families receiving assistance and families under certain agreements; (4) civil penalties for failure to report required information to a State Directory of New Hires; (5) uses of the Federal Parent Locator Service, including access to its registry data for research purposes; (6) collection and use of social security numbers for child support enforcement purposes in State certificates and licenses for marriage, occupational, professional, and commercial activities; (7) availability of funds earmarked for the Federal Parent Locator Service; (8) authority to collect child support from Federal employees; (9) direct Federal grants to Indian tribes for child support enforcement; (10) State retention of child support amounts collected on behalf of a child for whom a public agency is making foster care maintenance payments to the extent necessary to reimburse it for such payments; (11) high-volume automated administrative enforcement in interstate cases; and (12) statutory procedures to ensure that persons with child support arrearages have a work or payment plan.
(Sec. 5534) Requires State plans for child and spousal support to: (1) mandate notification to the Secretary, whenever the Federal Parent Locator Service is utilized, that the State has reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, and that disclosure of such information could jeopardize the victims; and (2) prescribe safeguard procedures for State courts to utilize upon notification that the Secretary has such evidence, including a proscription against court disclosure.
(Sec. 5555) Amends PRAWORA, with respect to the temporary limitation on payments under the special Federal matching rate for the development costs of automated systems, to revise the formula for allocation of such limitation to include certain systems approved by the Secretary to receive enhanced funding, as well as systems that have received funding pursuant to a waiver.
Chapter 4: Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for Aliens
- Amends PRAWORA to make certain aliens eligible for Medicare and Railroad Retirement Act benefits.
(Sec. 5562) Makes technical corrections with respect to: (1) aliens under withheld deportation; and (2) notification of unlawfully present aliens.
(Sec. 5563) Requires alien veterans to have fulfilled minimum active duty service requirements to be eligible for specified Federal and State public assistance programs. Extends assistance eligibility to the unremarried surviving spouse of such a veteran.
(Sec. 5565) States that the term "Federal public benefit" shall not apply with respect to grants, contracts, or appropriations to citizens of a freely associated state under specified circumstances.
(Sec. 5566) Expresses the sense of the Congress that permanent resident Hmong and other Highland Lao veterans who fought on behalf of the United States during the Vietnam conflict should be considered veterans for purposes of continuing certain assistance benefits.
(Sec. 5571) Amends the Act with respect to the treatment of certain battered aliens as "qualified aliens" to: (1) transfer determination authority from the Attorney General to the providing agency; and (2) include the alien child of a battered parent under such definition and under the special income attribution rule.
(Sec. 5572) Directs the Attorney General to promulgate procedures for State verification of alien eligibility.
(Sec. 5573) Amends provisions concerning qualifying social security quarters.
(Sec. 5581) Amends TANF provisions to require States receiving specified grants to provide the Immigration and Naturalization Service with identifying information about illegal aliens.
Chapter 5: Child Protection
- Amends the Social Security Act to make technical and conforming amendments relating to child protection.
Chapter 6: Child Care
- Amends the Social Security Act to make technical and conforming amendments relating to child care.
Chapter 7: ERISA Amendments Relating to Medical Child Support Orders
- Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), with respect to group health plan coverage of children under a medical child support order pursuant to PRAWORA, to permit payment of plan benefits to a State or local official in lieu of the child.
(Sec. 5612) Requires treatment as a medical child support court order of specified similar administrative orders.
(Sec. 5613) Repeals the requirement that a medical child support order specify each health benefit plan to which it applies.
Subtitle G: Miscellaneous
- Amends Federal law to provide for an increase in the public debt limit to $5.95 trillion.
(Sec. 5702) Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of the Treasury for FY 1998 through 2002 for improved application of the earned income tax credit.
Title VI: Education and Related Provisions - Subtitle A: Higher Education
- Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) with respect to title IV student assistance programs.
(Sec. 6101) Directs the Secretary of Education to recall a specified amount of reserve funds held by guaranty agencies on September 1, 2002. Denies the Secretary any authority to direct a guaranty agency to return reserve funds before such date. Requires each guaranty agency, between FY 1998 and 2002, to transfer a certain portion of its required share of the projected recall amount into restricted accounts for investment in U.S. obligations or other similarly low-risk securities.
(Sec. 6102) Repeals the requirement that the Secretary pay direct loan origination fees to institutions of higher education.
(Sec. 6103) Sets funding levels through FY 2002 for mandatory administrative expenses for the student financial aid programs. Reduces the previously authorized level of appropriations for FY 1998 ($750 million), while authorizing increasing amounts for subsequent fiscal years until the level reaches $750 million for FY 2002. Prescribes a formula for the calculation of administrative cost allowances payable to guaranty agencies.
(Sec. 6104) Extends HEA title IV student assistance programs through FY 2002.
Subtitle B: Repeal of Smith-Hughes Vocational Education Act
- Repeals the Smith-Hughes Vocational Education Act.
Title VII: Civil Service Retirement and Related Provisions
- Specifies increases in certain contributions to the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System.
(Sec. 7002) Modifies the formula under which the Government contribution for health benefits for a Federal employee or annuitant enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) is determined.
(Sec. 7003) Amends Federal law to repeal the requirement authorizing transitional appropriations to the Postal Service Fund.
Title VIII: Veterans and Related Matters
- Veterans Reconciliation Act of 1997 -
Subtitle A: Extension of Temporary Authorities
- Extends through December 1, 2002, the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to issue and guarantee the principal and interest on certificates or other securities representing an interest in a pool of mortgage loans made to veterans and guaranteed by the Secretary. Extends through FY 2002: (1) the authority of the Secretary to charge a home loan fee under the veterans' home loan guaranty program; (2) the default procedures applicable to home liquidation sales under the program; (3) the authority of the Secretary to obtain information under the Internal Revenue Code for veterans' income verification purposes; and (4) a $90 monthly pension limitation, after three months, for a veteran having neither spouse nor child and being furnished domiciliary or nursing home care by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Subtitle B: Copayments and Medical Care Cost Recovery
- Amends the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1990 to extend through FY 2002 the authority to require certain veterans to make copayments for the receipt of Department health care benefits. Extends through FY 2002: (1) the requirement that veterans pay $2 for each 30-day supply of medication furnished through the Department for the treatment of a non-service-connected disability or condition; and (2) the right of the United States to recover from a veteran the cost of Department care and services provided for certain non-service-connected disabilities.
(Sec. 8023) Establishes in the Treasury the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Care Collections Fund for receipt of amounts recovered or collected by the Department for the provision of certain reimbursable health care and services provided to veterans and their spouses and dependents. Specifies authorized Fund uses. Transfers to the Fund any unobligated balance of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical-Care Cost Recovery Fund. Requires an implementation report.
Subtitle C: Other Matters
- Provides for the rounding down to the next lower dollar of cost-of-living adjustments in veterans' disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation rates for FY 1998 through 2002. Allows such adjustments to be no more than the percentage adjustment to social security increases for such year.
(Sec. 8032) Increases the home loan fee rate charged for the purchase from the Department of repossessed homes (homes the loans for which were defaulted by veterans under the home loan guaranty program).
(Sec. 8033) Revises the notification procedures under which the Secretary may waive all or part of the indebtedness owed by a veteran on account of any loan made to, or assumed or guaranteed by, the Department.
Title IX: Asset Sales, User Fees, and Miscellaneous Provisions - Subtitle A: Asset Sales
- Mandates the sale of Governors Island, New York.
(Sec. 9102) Mandates the sale of specified air rights adjacent to Washington Union Station, including the air rights of Amtrak transferred to the Administrator of General Services (GSA).
Directs Amtrak, as a condition of future Federal financial assistance, to transfer specified air rights to the GSA on or before December 31, 1997. Prohibits Amtrak from obligating Federal funds if it fails to comply.
Subtitle B: User Fees
- Amends Federal law to extend higher vessel tonnage duties through FY 2002.
Subtitle C: Miscellaneous Provisions
- Requires the Federal share of the cost of assistance provided under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Emergency Assistance Act to be at least 90 percent for damages suffered in specified counties in Minnesota as a result of the 1997 floods in the Red River Valley.
(Sec. 9302) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to increase the excise tax on all tobacco products.
(Sec. 9303) Permits, as specified, the storage in underutilized Strategic Petroleum Reserve facilities of petroleum product owned by a foreign government.
(Sec. 9304) Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to make provisions of the Line Item Veto Act that allow the President to cancel a limited tax benefit applicable only to provisions added to the Internal Revenue Code by section 5406 of this Act.
(Sec. 9305) Makes inapplicable to benefit payments otherwise payable on Sunday, October 1, 2000, the requirement that, to the maximum extent practicable, veterans' benefits be paid on the Friday immediately preceding a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
Title X: Budget Enforcement and Process Provisions
- Budget Enforcement Act of 1997 -
Subtitle A: Amendments to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974
- Amends the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to include the food stamp program within the definition of "entitlement authority."
(Sec. 10103) Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (the Act) to require the annual report by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to the Budget Committees to include a statement of the levels of budget authority and outlays for each program assumed to be extended in the baseline (those with estimated current year outlays greater than $50 million) and for excise taxes (dedicated to trust funds) assumed to be extended under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act).
(Sec. 10105) Requires the concurrent resolution on the budget to set forth planning levels for at least the four (currently, two) ensuing fiscal years.
Revises Senate pay-as-you-go authorities to permit the budget resolution to set forth procedures for revisions of committee allocations, aggregates, and other levels for legislation if such legislation would not increase the deficit or would not increase the deficit when taken with other legislation enacted after the resolution's adoption for the first fiscal year or total period of fiscal years covered by the resolution. Authorizes the budget resolution to set forth direct loan obligation and primary loan guarantee commitment levels.
Revises required elements of the report accompanying the budget resolution and removes a requirement that total direct loan obligation and primary loan guarantee commitment levels be compared with those requested in the President's budget.
Repeals a provision of a budget resolution from the 103d Congress (
H. Con. Res. 218
) regarding a social security fire wall point of order in the Senate.
(Sec. 10106) Consolidates requirements currently set forth separately for the House of Representatives and the Senate with respect to committee allocations. Requires the joint explanatory statement accompanying a conference report on a budget resolution to include allocations of the levels, for the first fiscal year, at least each of the four ensuing fiscal years, and a total for all years, of new budget authority and outlays among each House and Senate committee with jurisdiction over legislation providing or creating such amounts. Requires levels only for the first fiscal year in the case of the Appropriations Committee.
Requires the chairman of the House Budget Committee, if a concurrent budget resolution is not adopted by April 15, to submit to the House an allocation consistent with the discretionary spending limits contained in the most recently agreed to budget resolution for the appropriate fiscal year covered by such resolution.
Revises provisions regarding points of order with respect to consideration of legislation that would cause allocations or suballocations of new budget authority or outlays in a budget resolution to be exceeded.
Provides a specified pay-as-you-go exception to a point of order in the House in cases where legislation would not increase the deficit and meets other specified requirements.
(Sec. 10107) Makes a prohibition on considering legislation until the concurrent budget resolution has been agreed to inapplicable to a House bill or resolution that provides advance discretionary new budget authority that first becomes available for the first or second fiscal year after the budget year. Makes it out of order in the Senate to consider any appropriation bill or joint resolution for the fiscal year concerned or any subsequent year until the concurrent budget resolution has been agreed to and the allocations have been made to the Appropriations Committee for that year.
(Sec. 10108) Repeals a provision that applies certain economic assumptions to revisions of concurrent budget resolutions.
(Sec. 10112) Applies a point of order against legislation that would cause revenues to be less than those set forth in the concurrent budget resolution for the first fiscal year or the total of all fiscal years covered by the resolution.
Makes it out of order in the Senate to consider any legislation that would cause a decrease in social security surpluses or an increase in social security deficits relative to the levels of social security revenues and outlays set forth for the first fiscal year, or for the total of all fiscal years, covered by the concurrent budget resolution.
(Sec. 10113) Prohibits points of order against legislation in the Senate while an amendment to such legislation which would remedy violations of the Act is pending.
Repeals provisions that require levels of new budget authority outlays, new entitlement authority, and revenues to be determined on the basis of Budget Committee estimates.
(Sec. 10114) Requires the Budget Committees to make adjustments to discretionary spending limits, allocations, and budgetary aggregates in the appropriate concurrent budget resolution for the amount of new budget authority and outlays from reported legislation that provides amounts for: (1) certain emergency requirements and continuing disability reviews pursuant to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act; (2) increases in the U.S. quota as part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Eleventh General Review or for increases in amounts available to the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to new arrangements to borrow under the Bretton Woods Agreements Act (for fiscal years through 2002); (3) arrearages for international organizations and peacekeeping and multilateral development banks for FY 1998 through 2000; and (4) an earned income tax credit compliance initiative for FY 1998 through 2002.
(Sec. 10116) Revises provisions regarding controls on bills providing new spending authority to apply controls to bills (or, in the House only, reported measures) that provide new credit or entitlement authority. Removes references to new spending authority.
(Sec. 10117) Amends the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 to revise certain definitions and make other technical amendments.
(Sec. 10118) Repeals title VI (budget agreement enforcement provisions) of the Act.
(Sec. 10123) Directs the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders to each appoint three Senators to serve on a bipartisan task force to study and report on the floor procedures for the consideration of budget resolutions and reconciliation bills in the Senate.
Subtitle B: Amendments to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985
- Amends the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act to revise requirements for sequestration reports and extend adjustments to discretionary spending limits for certain activities. Revises provisions regarding a special outlay allowance in cases where outlays for a spending category exceed discretionary spending limits but new budget authority does not exceed its limit to require the adjustment in outlays to be the amount of the excess up to 0.5 percent of the adjusted limits on outlays for the fiscal year concerned. Provides for adjustments to such limits for fiscal years through 2002 with respect to certain allowances for the IMF and international arrearages and for the earned income tax credit compliance initiative.
Sets forth discretionary spending limits for: (1) the discretionary category for FY 1997 and FY 2000 through 2002; (2) the defense, nondefense, and violent crime reduction categories for FY 1998 and 1999; and (3) the violent crime reduction category for FY 2000.
(Sec. 10204) Repeals provisions regarding sequestration for the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund.
(Sec. 10205) States that the purpose of this section is to assure that any legislation enacted before FY 2002 affecting direct spending or receipts that increases the deficit will trigger an offsetting sequestration.
Revises sequestration provisions to require a sequestration to offset the amount of any net deficit increase caused by all direct spending and receipts legislation enacted before October 1, 2002. Includes, in OMB's calculation of the deficit increase, any net deficit increase or decrease in the current year resulting from estimates for such legislation that were not reflected in the final OMB sequestration report for the current year.
Requires OMB and CBO estimates to include the amount of change in outlays or receipts for the current and budget year and for each outyear, excluding amounts resulting from the deposit insurance guarantee commitment and emergencies.
(Sec. 10206) Extends sequestration reporting requirements through FY 2002.
(Sec. 10207) Adds and removes specified items to and from the lists of items exempt from reductions under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act.
(Sec. 10208) Removes the National Wool Act from the list of indices whose changes trigger automatic spending increases.
Revises origination fee requirements for student loans made during a sequestration period.
Exempts administrative expenses of the Farm Credit Administration from reductions.
Requires the Secretary of Agriculture, as the sole means of achieving a reduction in outlays under the milk price support program, to provide for a reduction to be made in the price received by producers for all milk produced in the United States and marketed for commercial use.
Makes budgetary resources sequestered in revolving, trust, and special fund accounts available in years subsequent to the year in which a sequestration occurs.
(Sec. 10209) Provides that no program established by a law enacted before this Act's enactment date with estimated current year outlays greater than $50 million shall be assumed to expire in the budget year or outyears. Requires the scoring of new programs with estimated outlays greater than such amount to be based on scoring by the Budget Committees or OMB. Requires any program with estimated current year outlays greater than such amount which operates under any law which expires before the budget year or any outyear to be assumed to continue to operate as in effect before such law's expiration.
Requires the inflator used to adjust budgetary resources (other than those relating to personnel) to be the percent by which the average of the estimated gross domestic product chain-type price index (currently, the national product fixed-weight price index) for a fiscal year differs from the average of such estimated index for the current year.
Amends the Social Security Act to remove the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund from the list of funds exempted from general budget limitations and excluded from the President's and congressional budgets.
(Sec. 10213) Requires the Director of OMB to: (1) reduce any balances of direct spending and receipts legislation for fiscal years prior to 2002 to zero; and (2) not make any estimates of changes in direct spending outlays and receipts for any fiscal year resulting from the enactment of this Act or the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.
Title XI: District of Columbia Revitalization
- National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997 -
Subtitle A: District of Columbia Retirement Funds
Chapter 1: Short Title; Findings; Definitions
- District of Columbia Retirement Protection Act of 1997 - Defines "covered District employee" as a teacher of the District of Columbia public schools or a member of the District police or fire departments.
Chapter 2: Federal Benefit Payments Under District Retirement Programs
- Requires the Federal Government to make Federal benefit payments associated with the pension plans for District police officers, fire fighters, and teachers.
(Sec. 11011) Prohibits reversion to the District of the responsibility for making Federal benefit payments.
(Sec. 11012) Describes Federal benefit payments as payments to which an individual is entitled under a District retirement program.
Prohibits service after the freeze date (June 30, 1997) from being credited for purposes of determining the amount of Federal benefit payments.
Requires payments to individuals entitled to disability benefits based on determinations made after the freeze date to be equal to the deferred or normal retirement benefit an individual would receive if the individual left service on the day before commencement of disability retirement benefits.
Limits death benefits that are not determined by length of service to the pre-freeze date percentage of the amount otherwise payable. Defines such percentage as the number of months of the covered District employee's service prior to the freeze date, divided by the total number of months of service.
(Sec. 11013) Amends the Policemen and Firemen's Retirement and Disability Act and other specified District law to standardize cost of living adjustments with respect to annuities of District fire fighters, police, and teachers.
Chapter 3: Determinations and Review of Eligibility and Payments; Information Sharing
- Requires the Trustee of the District of Columbia Federal Pension Liability Trust Fund to make determinations of eligibility for, and amounts of, Federal benefit payments.
(Sec. 11022) Sets forth procedures for review of claims arising from denied benefit payments.
(Sec. 11024) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide for disclosure of individual tax return information for purposes of determining eligibility for, or the correct amount of, benefits under this Act.
Chapter 4: District of Columbia Federal Pension Liability Trust Fund
- Establishes the District of Columbia Federal Pension Liability Trust Fund, consisting of assets transferred from the District of Columbia Police Officers and Fire Fighters Retirement Fund and the District of Columbia Teachers Retirement Fund. Requires the Trust Fund to be used to make Federal benefit payments under this subtitle.
(Sec. 11033) Requires the District government to furnish the Trustee with a final reconciliation of accounts in connection with the transfer of assets and obligations to the Trust Fund.
(Sec. 11034) Exempts the Trust Fund from Federal income tax and treats benefits as benefits provided under a governmental plan maintained by the District for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
(Sec. 11035) Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to select a Trustee to administer the Trust Fund and carry out related responsibilities.
Chapter 5: Responsibilities of District Government
- Continues the District's responsibilities with respect to the retirement program until the Secretary directs the Trustee of the Trust Fund to carry out such responsibilities.
(Sec. 11042) Requires the District to adopt a replacement plan for pension benefits for covered District employees, to be effective as of the freeze date.
Provides that if the District fails to adopt such plan, the retirement program applicable to police, fire fighters, and teachers under District laws in effect as of June 1, 1997, shall apply.
Chapter 6: Financing of Benefit Payments After Depletion of Trust Fund
- Establishes the Federal Supplemental District of Columbia Pension Fund, to be administered by the Secretary and used to finance Federal obligations for benefits and administrative expenses under this subtitle.
(Sec. 11054) Requires the Secretary to take certain actions when assets remaining in the Trust Fund are projected to be depleted.
Chapter 7: Reports
- Directs the Trustee to engage an enrolled actuary of the Trust Fund and Federal Supplemental Fund to report annually on the actuarial status of the Funds.
(Sec. 11062) Authorizes the Comptroller General to evaluate and report on the administration of this subtitle.
Chapter 8: Judicial Enforcement
- Provides for judicial review of actions brought by retirement participants or the Trustee, jurisdiction and venue, and limitations of actions.
Chapter 9: Miscellaneous
- Directs the Secretary to contract with an independent consultant to study actuarial alternatives for financing the Federal obligations assumed under this subtitle, and analyze the impact of each alternative on the Federal budget.
(Sec. 11084) Provides that this subtitle supersedes any inconsistent provision of the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act.
Subtitle B: Management Reform Plans
- District of Columbia Management Reform Act of 1997 - Requires the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority (Authority) and the District government to develop and implement management reform plans for specified governmental departments.
(Sec. 11103) Directs the Authority to contract with consultants to develop such plans. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 11104) Provides for management reform teams to implement such plans.
(Sec. 11105) Sets forth procedures for the appointment of governmental department heads by the Mayor.
Authorizes the Authority or the Mayor, with the approval of the Authority, to remove the heads of specified governmental departments during a control year. Defines a "control year" as a year in which a financial plan and budget approved by the Authority is in effect (for periods in which the District is unable to meet certain financial obligations).
Subtitle C: Criminal Justice
Chapter 1: Corrections
- Requires, no later than October 1, 2001, any person who has been sentenced to incarceration pursuant to the District Code or the truth-in-sentencing system under this subtitle to be designated by the Bureau of Prisons to a Bureau penal or correctional facility for such term as the court may direct.
(Sec. 11201) Provides for the closure of the Lorton Correctional Complex by December 31, 2001, and for the transfer of its felony population to a Bureau facility. Subjects such persons to any law or regulation applicable to persons committed for violations of U.S. laws and makes the Bureau responsible for the care, education, treatment, and training of such persons.
Requires the Bureau to house in private contract facilities: (1) at least 2,000 District sentenced felons by December 31, 1999; and (2) at least 50 percent of the District's sentenced felon population by September 30, 2003. Makes the Deputy Attorney General responsible for overseeing Bureau privatization activities and requires annual reports to the Congress on progress of, and compliance with, privatization requirements. Directs the Attorney General to study and report to the Congress on correctional privatization, including a comparative analysis of cost effectiveness and feasibility of private sector and governmental operation of prisons and corrections programs.
Requires the Bureau to acquire land and build new facilities to house the District's inmate population. Prohibits building on the grounds of the Lorton Reservation.
Transfers Lorton property to the Department of the Interior and the Fairfax County Department of Parks and Recreation.
Establishes the District of Columbia Correction Information Council to report to the Bureau Director on matters affecting the District's felon population.
(Sec. 11202) Requires the Attorney General to select a Corrections Trustee, an independent officer of the District, to oversee financial operations of the District's Department of Corrections until all felony offenders are designated for transfer to a Bureau facility.
(Sec. 11203) Requires the Bureau to establish a priority consideration program to facilitate employment placement for District employees scheduled to be separated from service as a result of Lorton's closing.
(Sec. 11206) Authorizes the District to expend funds necessary to carry out the Sewage Delivery System and Capacity Purchase Agreement between Fairfax County and the District for a specified project without regard to the amount appropriated in the District's budget for the fiscal year concerned.
Chapter 2: Sentencing
- Establishes the District of Columbia Truth in Sentencing Commission as an independent agency of the District.
(Sec. 11212) Requires the Commission to make recommendations to the District Council for amendments to the District Code with respect to sentences to be imposed for all felonies committed three years after this Act's enactment date.
Prohibits the Commission from being empowered to recommend a sentence of death for any offense or a term of imprisonment less than that prescribed by the District Code as a mandatory minimum sentence.
Sets forth laws to which such sentences apply.
(Sec. 11214) Requires the Attorney General to promulgate amendments to the District Code with respect to such sentences if the Council fails to enact the Commission's recommendations or the Commission fails to make recommendations within the prescribed deadline.
Chapter 3: Offender Supervision and Parole
- Transfers jurisdiction and authorities of the District Board of Parole to the U.S. Parole Commission, with respect to felons, and to the District Superior Court, with respect to misdemeanants. Abolishes the Board of Parole upon the establishment of the District of Columbia Offender Supervision, Defender, and Courts Services Agency.
(Sec. 11231) Amends the Parole Commission Phaseout Act of 1996 to increase the authorized number of U.S. Parole Commissioners to five.
(Sec. 11232) Directs the Attorney General to appoint a Pretrial Services, Defense Services, Parole, Adult Probation and Offender Supervision Trustee, an independent officer of the District government, to effectuate the reorganization and transition of functions and funding related to such activities.
(Sec. 11233) Establishes the District of Columbia Offender Supervision, Defender, and Courts Services Agency within the Federal executive branch. Provides for Agency assumption of duties upon certification by the Trustee that the Agency can carry out its functions.
Directs the Agency to provide supervision for offenders on probation, parole, and supervised release pursuant to the District Code. Grants Agency supervision officers the same powers as granted to U.S. Probation and Pretrial Officers.
Provides that the District of Columbia Pretrial Services Agency and Public Defender Service shall function as independent entities within the Agency.
(Sec. 11234) Authorizes appropriations.
Chapter 4: District of Columbia Courts
- Authorizes appropriations for the District Superior Court, Court of Appeals, and court system.
(Sec. 11242) Amends the District Code to make technical and conforming changes to administrative, financing, and reporting provisions regarding the District court system to reflect the transfer of specified authorities to the Federal Government.
(Sec. 11246) Treats nonjudicial District court personnel as Federal employees for purposes of compensation for work injuries, life and health insurance, and retirement benefits.
(Sec. 11251) Revises provisions regarding the District of Columbia Judicial Retirement and Survivors Annuity Fund to re-establish such fund in the Treasury. Authorizes the Secretary to review benefit determinations under this subchapter made prior to this Act's enactment date.
(Sec. 11252) Amends the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act to provide for the transfer of assets of the District of Columbia Judges' Retirement Fund to the District of Columbia Judicial Retirement and Survivors Annuity Fund (thus, terminating the Judges' Retirement Fund).
Removes judges from the District Retirement Board.
(Sec. 11253) Transfers specified authorities regarding the Judicial Retirement and Survivors Annuity Fund from the Mayor to the Secretary.
(Sec. 11261) Makes provisions of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995 and the District of Columbia Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978 inapplicable to the District courts.
Chapter 5: Pretrial Services Agency and Public Defender Service
- Makes technical changes to administrative provisions regarding the District's Pretrial Services Agency and Public Defender Service.
Chapter 6: Miscellaneous Provisions
- Authorizes appropriations to the National Institute of Justice for activities to assess the crime problem in the District and to establish a corporation or institute supporting research and demonstration projects for the prevention, solution, or punishment of crimes in the District.
(Sec. 11282) Exempts the Trustees described in this title and their respective agencies from personnel or budget limitations which otherwise apply to District agencies in appropriations Acts.
Subtitle D: Privatization of Tax Collection and Administration
- Authorizes the District's Chief Financial Officer to contract with a private entity for the administration and collection of District taxes.
Subtitle E: Financing of District of Columbia Accumulated Deficit
- Amends the District of Columbia Revenue Act of 1939 to permit intermediate-term advances of funds from the Treasury for purposes of assisting the District in liquidating the outstanding accumulated operating deficit of the District general fund existing as of September 30, 1997. Conditions such advances on actions by the District, including actions to demonstrate obligations to reimburse, inability to obtain credit elsewhere, and compliance with a financial plan and budget. Limits the aggregate of all advances to $300 million. Permits the Secretary to require early reimbursement of the advance if the District is able to obtain credit elsewhere to refinance the unpaid balance without adversely affecting its financial stability.
Subtitle F: District of Columbia Bond Financing Improvements
- District of Columbia Bond Financing Improvements Act of 1997 - Amends the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act to authorize general obligation bonds to be sold at private (negotiated) or public sales. (Currently, such bonds are required to be sold at public sale and only certain issues may be sold at private sales on a negotiated basis.)
(Sec. 11507) Permits the Council to authorize the issuance of bond anticipation notes, the proceeds of which shall be used for the purposes for which general obligation bonds may be issued. Provides that such notes shall constitute indebtedness which may be refunded through the issuance of such bonds. Sets a maximum annual debt service amount for bonds anticipated by such notes, and makes such notes due within the third fiscal year following issuance.
(Sec. 11508) Expands the list of activities for which revenue bonds may be issued.
Authorizes the Council to delegate authority to issue revenue bonds or other obligations to any District instrumentality.
Provides that revenue bonds and other obligations shall not: (1) be general obligations of the District; (2) involve the credit of the District; and (3) constitute a debt of the District.
Subtitle G: District of Columbia Government Budget
- Repeals provisions of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act that provide for the annual Federal payment to the District.
(Sec. 11601) Amends the District of Columbia Revenue Act of 1939 to change the limit on certain short-term advances made by the Secretary to the District for seasonal cash-flow management to 15 percent of the total anticipated revenues of the District for the fiscal year concerned, as certified by the Mayor.
Authorizes appropriations for a Federal contribution towards the costs of operating the District government of $190 million for FY 1998 and of such amounts as necessary for subsequent fiscal years.
(Sec. 11602) Amends the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995 to prohibit the District's expenditures from exceeding revenues in FY 1998 (currently, FY 1999).
(Sec. 11603) Permits the submission and approval of a joint consensus budget and financial plan for the District by the Mayor, Council, and Authority.
(Sec. 11604) Increases the District's borrowing limitation from 14 to 17 percent of the District's revenues per fiscal year.
Subtitle H: Miscellaneous Provisions
Chapter 1: Regulatory Reform in the District of Columbia
- Directs the Authority to: (1) review District regulations and analyze the extent to which they inappropriately impair economic development and the financial stability and management efficiency of the District government; (2) review current processes for obtaining permits and applications and analyze the extent to which such processes and their completion times vary from those in other jurisdictions; and (3) repeal or revise such regulations or processes, as appropriate.
(Sec. 11702) Repeals the Clean Air Compliance Fee Act of 1994, effective March 21, 1995 (date of enactment), except for the exemption of newspaper delivery from gross sales and compensating-use taxes.
(Sec. 11703) Repeals a requirement of congressional authorization for certain mergers involving District public utility corporations.
(Sec. 11704) Amends the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act to exempt from specified limitations on amounts or time periods contracts entered into: (1) by the Washington Convention Center Authority for preconstruction activities or project management, design, or construction; (2) by the District Water and Sewer Authority, other than those for sale or lease of the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant; and (3) for Federal highway improvement projects, at the option of the Council.
Chapter 2: Other Miscellaneous Provisions
- Amends the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995 to permit the use of interest earned on accounts to promote the economic stability and management efficiency of the District government.
(Sec. 11712) Authorizes covered Federal law enforcement agencies to enter into cooperative agreements with the District Police Department to assist the Department in carrying out crime prevention and law enforcement activities.
Establishes penalties for knowingly obstructing bridges between the District and Virginia.
(Sec. 11713) Permits garnishment of wages and other government remuneration of District employees.
(Sec. 11714) Amends the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act to authorize the District Water and Sewer Authority, beginning in FY 1997, to expend excess revenues for capital projects in fiscal years in which such revenues exceed estimated revenues.
(Sec. 11715) Requires heads of Federal agencies and the Architect of the Capitol to provide notice before carrying out activities that affect real property in the District.
(Sec. 11716) Repeals a prohibition on the use of land conveyed to the Columbia Hospital for Women for any other purpose than a hospital for women, without the consent of the United States.
(Sec. 11717) Changes the name of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act to the District of Columbia Home Rule Act.
Chapter 3: Effective Date; General Provisions
- Requires this title to take effect on the later of October 1, 1997, or the day the Authority certifies that the financial plan and budget for FY 1998 meet specified requirements under this title.
(Sec. 11722) Authorizes Federal agencies to provide technical assistance to, and training for, District government personnel.
(Sec. 11723) Absolves the United States of liability resulting from actions against the District.
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Bill titles: To provide for reconciliation pursuant to subsections (b)(1) and (c) of section 105 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 1998.; Budget Enforcement Act of 1997; Child Health Assistance Program Act of 1997; District of Columbia Bond Financing Improvements Act of 1997; District of Columbia Management Reform Act of 1997; District of Columbia Retirement Protection Act of 1997; National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997; Veterans Reconciliation Act of 1997
Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov