H. R. 5698
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 3, 2008
Mr. Hastings of Florida (for himself, Mr. Holt, and Mr. Burgess) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To amend titles XVI, XVIII, XIX, and XXI of the Social Security Act to remove inmate limitations on Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, and SCHIP benefits for persons in custody pending disposition of charges.
This Act may be cited as the
Restoring the Partnership for County
Health Care Costs Act of 2008.
Congress makes the following findings:
The presumption of innocence is integral to the Anglo-Saxon legal tradition and the American criminal justice system.
Terminating benefits to inmates of county jails to prevent criminals from receiving Federal benefits violates the presumption of innocence, because it does not distinguish between persons awaiting disposition of charges and those who have been duly convicted and sentenced.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976) that jail inmates are guaranteed health care under the Constitution.
Fulfilling the constitutional obligations under Estelle to provide health care for inmates constitutes a major portion of local jail operating costs.
Many people charged with crimes and awaiting trial are released upon posting of bond, released on their own recognizance, released under house arrest or other alternative means of detention. These individuals continue to be eligible for benefits under Medicare, Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income while awaiting trial. Some individuals who are charged with crimes and incarcerated in county jails are ultimately acquitted of the crime or the charges may be dropped and the individual released.
Otherwise eligible individuals who have been charged with a crime and incarcerated, but not convicted, should continue to be eligible for Federal health benefits, such as Medicare, Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income, until such time as they may be convicted and sentenced to an institution.
Removal of inmate limitation on benefits under Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, and SCHIP
The subdivision (A) of section 1905(a) of
the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396d(a)) that follows paragraph (28) is
amended by inserting
or in custody pending disposition of
patient in a medical institution.
1862(a)(3) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395y(a)(3)) is amended by inserting
in the case of services furnished to individuals who are in custody
pending disposition of charges, after
Section 1611(e)(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1382(e)(1)) is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
As used in subparagraph (A), the term inmate of a public institution does not include an individual who is in custody pending disposition of charges.
2110(b)(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1397jj(b)(1)) is amended by inserting
(except as an individual in custody pending disposition of
inmate of a public institution.
The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the first day of the first calendar quarter beginning more than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to items and services furnished, and supplemental security income benefits paid, for periods beginning on or after such date.