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H.R. 5698 (110th): Restoring the Partnership for County Health Care Costs Act of 2008

The text of the bill below is as of Apr 3, 2008 (Introduced).


I

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5698

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 3, 2008

(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

A BILL

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.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Restoring the Partnership for County Health Care Costs Act of 2008.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

The presumption of innocence is integral to the Anglo-Saxon legal tradition and the American criminal justice system.

(2)

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.

(3)

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.

(4)

Fulfilling the constitutional obligations under Estelle to provide health care for inmates constitutes a major portion of local jail operating costs.

(5)

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.

(6)

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.

3.

Removal of inmate limitation on benefits under Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, and SCHIP

(a)

Medicaid

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 charges after patient in a medical institution.

(b)

Medicare

Section 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 1880(e).

(c)

SSI

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:

(K)

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.

.

(d)

SCHIP

Section 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 charges) after inmate of a public institution.

(e)

Effective date

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.