GovTrack’s Bill Summary
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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Sets 2.2% as the update to the single conversion factor in the formula for determining physician payment rates for June 1, 2010, through November 30, 2010.
Revises requirements for calculating payments to hospitals for inpatient hospital services with respect to the three-day payment window regarding other services related to an admission which are performed during the three days before an admission. Includes among such services, in addition to diagnostic services (as under current law), all services that are not diagnostic services (other than ambulance and maintenance renal dialysis services) for which Medicare payment may be made that are provided to a patient by a hospital (or an entity wholly owned or operated by the hospital). Prohibits any administrative or judicial review of the determination of whether services provided during the three days before a patient's inpatient admission are related to the admission. Prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from reopening a claim, adjusting a claim, or making a payment pursuant to any request for Medicare payment (previously bundled claims) submitted by a hospital or an entity wholly owned or operated by the hospital for specified other services related to a patient's inpatient admission for purposes of treating, as unrelated to such admission, services provided during the three days (or in the case of a hospital that is not a subsection [d] hospital, during the one day) immediately preceding the date of the patient's inpatient admission. (Generally, a subsection [d] hospital is an acute care hospital, particularly one that receives payments under Medicare's inpatient prospective payment system [IPPS] when providing covered inpatient services to eligible beneficiaries.)
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to disclose to HHS officers and employees tax return information regarding delinquent tax debt with respect to taxpayers who apply to enroll or reenroll as Medicare service providers or suppliers. Requires the HHS Secretary to take this information into account in determining whether to deny such an application or to apply enhanced oversight to a service provider or supplier who owes such a debt.
Pension Funding Relief
Single Employer Plans
Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) with respect to the shortfall amortization charge in the formula for determining the minimum required contribution for any plan year of a single-employer defined benefit plan in which the value of plan assets is less than the plan's funding target for the plan year. (The shortfall amortization charge for a plan for any plan year is the aggregate total of the shortfall amortization installments in amortizing unfunded liabilities for such plan year with respect to the shortfall amortization bases for the plan year and each of the six preceding plan years. Shortfall amortization installments are the amounts necessary to amortize the shortfall amortization base of the plan for any plan year in level annual installments over the seven-plan-year period beginning with such plan year.) Allows a sponsor of a single-employer defined benefit pension plan to elect in any two plan years 2008-2011 extended amortization periods (of 9 or 15 years instead of the usual 7 years). Requires an increase in alternate required shortfall amortization installments by an installment acceleration amount, during a specified restriction period (beginning after December 31, 2009), in cases of excess compensation or extraordinary dividends or stock redemptions, as determined according to specified formulae. Defines installment acceleration amount as the sum of the aggregate amount of excess employee compensation (over $1 million) for a plan year after February 28, 2010, plus the aggregate amount of extraordinary dividends and stock redemptions for such plan year.
Amends the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA 2006) to allow sponsors of certain eligible cooperative pension plans, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) settlement plans, and government contractor cooperative plans or eligible charity plans with delayed effective dates to elect, in certain plan years 2008-2011, to apply specified pre-PPA 2006 minimum funding rules with respect to unfunded new liabilities (under 90% funded) for either: (1) a two-year lookback for determining deficit reduction contributions for certain plans with 9-year extended amortization periods; or (2) a new applicable percentage in the determination of a 15-year extended amortization period.
Revises the formula for determining the adjusted funding target attainment percentage of single-employer benefit plans for plan years between October 1, 2008, and October 1, 2010 (FY2009 and FY2010), to make a special FY2007 plan year lookback rule with respect to determining when an unpredictable contingent event benefit may not be paid.
Revises requirements for the reduction of the minimum required contribution (by elected credits for a prefunding balance and a funding standard carryover balance) to a single-employer defined benefit pension plan maintained by a charity (charity benefit plan). Prescribes a special lookback for credit balance rule limiting such a reduction of the minimum required contribution for charity benefit plans that are less than 80% funded for plan years beginning after August 31, 2009, and before September 1, 2011.
Amends ERISA and IRC relating to minimum funding standards for multiemployer pension plans. Makes a special relief rule to allow such plans to elect alternative amortization plans and valuation methods for amortization of net investment losses incurred in either or both of the first two plan years ending after August 31, 2008, with a specified expanded smoothing period in asset valuation methods. Requires plan sponsors to give notice of such an election to participants and beneficiaries of the plan and the PBGC.
Requires a determination of the budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.
House Republican Conference Summary
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
This summary can be found at http://www.gop.gov/bill/111/1/hr3962.
The bill sets the tone for a Washington takeover of the health care system-one defined by federal regulation, mandates, myriad new programs, and higher federal spending. The bill would ensure the heavy hand of federal bureaucrats over the United States health care system, levying costly new taxes on individuals and businesses who do not comply. Many Members may question how additional federal mandates and bureaucratic diktats raising costs appreciably for all Americans would make health care more "affordable." Many Members may also be concerned that the bill's provisions-only partially masked by budgetary gimmicks and "smoke-and-mirrors" accounting-cost nearly $1.3 trillion, financed largely by significant job-killing tax increases imposed on small businesses during a recession.
Buried within the contents of the 1,990 page bill-as well as a separate 13-page bill (H.R. 3961) that would increase the deficit by more than $200 billion-are details that will see a massive federal involvement in the health care of every American, including the following:
- Creation of a government-run health plan that experts say would result in up to 114 million Americans losing their current coverage-a clear violation of any pledge to allow individuals to keep their current health plan;
- Nearly half a trillion dollars in tax increases on certain income filers, a majority of whom are small businesses-and $729.5 billion in tax increases overall;
- Insurance regulations that would raise costs for nearly all Americans, particularly young Americans, and confine choice of plans to those approved by a board of bureaucrats;
- New price controls on health insurance companies that provide perverse incentives to keep individuals sick rather than managing chronic disease, while impeding patient access to important services just because those services do not provide a direct clinical benefit;
- Additional federal mandates that would significantly erode the flexibility currently provided to employers-and could result in firms dropping coverage;
- Massive expansion of Medicaid to all individuals with incomes below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($33,075 for a family of four), replacing the existing private health coverage of millions with taxpayer-funded health care-and imposing tens of billions of dollars in new unfunded mandates on States;
- Denial of health plan choice to 15 million Americans, consigning them instead to a Medicaid program riddled with bureaucratic obstacles and poor access to care, such that its own beneficiaries do not consider it "real insurance;"
- Language opening employers operating group health plans to State law remedies and private causes of action-subjecting employers to review by 50 different State court rulings, thereby raising costs and encouraging more employers to drop their current health plans;
- Liability "reforms" intended to ensure trial lawyers do not have their compensation reduced, rather than meaningful changes that would reduce the cost of health care by eliminating wasteful defensive medicine practices;
- Establishment of a bureaucrat-run health Exchange that would abolish the private market for individual insurance outside the Exchange-and could evolve into a single-payer approach due to the Exchange's ability to cannibalize existing employer plans;
- Creation of a new government board, the "Health Benefits Advisory Committee," that would empower federal bureaucrats to impose new mandates on individuals and insurance carriers;
- Taxation of individuals who do not purchase a level of health coverage that meets the diktats of a board of bureaucrats-including those who cannot afford the coverage options provided;
- New, job-killing taxes-$135 billion worth-on employers who cannot afford to provide their workers health insurance, resulting in up to 5.5 million lost jobs, according to a model developed by President Obama's chief economic advisor;
- Penalties as high as $500,000 on employers who make honest mistakes when filing paperwork with the government health board-which would likely dissuade businesses from continuing to provide coverage, increasing enrollment in the bureaucrat-run Exchange;
- "Low-income" health insurance subsidies to a family of four making up to $88,200;
- Arbitrary and harmful cuts to popular Medicare Advantage plans that would result in millions of seniors losing their current health coverage; and
- Expanded price controls on pharmaceutical products that would discourage companies from producing life-saving breakthrough treatments.
Read The Complete Summary (PDF) >>
House Democratic Caucus Summary
The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.