POLICY BRIEFINGS


Health Legislation Recently Introduced


S. 3699 (MEDICARE),A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to include information on the coverage of intensive behavioral therapy for obesity in the Medicare and You Handbook, to provide written notification to beneficiaries and providers regarding new Medicare coverage of intensive behavioral therapy for obesity, and to provide for the coordination of programs to prevent and treat obesity, and for other purposes; CARPER, to the Committee on Finance, Dec. 16.

S. 3684 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for advanced illness care coordination services for Medicare beneficiaries, and for other purposes; WARNER; to the Committee on Finance, Dec. 17.

H.R. 6672 (EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS), to provide a comprehensive deficit reduction plan, and for other purposes; CORKER; to the Committee on Finance, Dec. 12.

H.R. 6679 (PRESCRIPTION DRUGS), to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to increase criminal penalties for the sale or trade of prescription drugs knowingly caused to be adulterated or misbranded, to modify requirements for maintaining records of the chain-of-custody of prescription drugs, to establish recall authority regarding drugs, and for other purposes; ISRAEL; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Dec. 18.

S. 3695 (TAXATION), to amend Section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an additional religious exemption from the individual health coverage mandate; LIEBERMAN; to the Committee on Finance, Dec. 19.

H.R. 6687 (TAXATION), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include vaccines against seasonal influenza within the definition of taxable vaccines; GERLACH; to the Committee on Ways and Means, Dec. 19.S. 3702 (VETERANS),A bill to provide grants to establish veteran’s treatment courts; to the Committee on the Judiciary; KERRY, Dec. 20.

H.R. 6692 (SUBSTANCE ABUSE), A bill to amend the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to exempt the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from sequestration; to the Committee on the Budget; CLARKE, Dec. 20.

H.R. 6702 (ORGAN TRANSPLANT), A bill to amend the National Organ Transplant Act to prevent the sale of bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce; YOUNG, Dec. 20.


Relevant Portions of H.R. 6684, the Spending Reduction Act of 2012


Title II: Committee on Energy and Commerce - 
Subtitle A: Repeal of Certain ACA Funding Provisions - (Sec. 201) 

Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to repeal provisions: (1) appropriating funds to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants to states for activities (including planning activities) related to establishing an American Health Benefit Exchange (a state health insurance exchange), (2) establishing and appropriating funds to the Prevention and Public Health Fund (a Fund to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public sector health care costs), and (3) appropriating funds for the establishment and operation of the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program (designed to foster the creation of qualified nonprofit health insurance issuers to offer qualified health plans in the individual and small group markets). Rescinds any unobligated balance appropriated under such provisions.

Subtitle B: Medicaid - (Sec. 211) 

Amends title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to: (1) extend the reduction of the threshold level of permissible state taxes on health care providers before federal funding to the state for Medicaid is reduced; (2) reduce the state disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotment for FY2022; and (3) repeal provisions prohibiting states from reducing eligibility levels for Medicaid. 

(Sec. 213) Amends title XXI (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) (CHIP, formerly known as SCHIP) of SSA to repeal provisions prohibiting states from reducing eligibility levels for CHIP.

(Sec. 214) Repeals provisions that increased Medicaid payments to territories though FY2019. Decreases the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. 

(Sec. 215) Repeals provisions providing bonus payments to states for enrollment and retention programs for children covered under Medicaid and CHIP.

Title IV: Committee on the Judiciary - 
Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2012

Sets conditions for lawsuits arising from health care liability claims and actions concerning the provision of health care goods or services or any medical product affecting interstate commerce. 

(Sec. 402) Establishes a statute of limitations of three years after the date of manifestation of injury or one year after the claimant discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first, unless tolled for any of the following: (1) upon proof of fraud, (2) intentional concealment, or (3) the presence in the the injured person of a foreign body that has no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect.


(Sec. 403) Limits noneconomic damages to $250,000, regardless of the number of parties against whom the action is brought or the number of separate claims or actions brought with respect to the same injury. Provides that each party shall be liable only for the amount of damages allocated to such party in direct proportion to such party’s percentage of responsibility, and not for the share of any other person. Requires the court to supervise the arrangements for payment of damages to protect against conflicts of interest that may have the effect of reducing the amount of damages awarded that are actually paid to claimants. Limits contingent fees.

(Sec. 405) Permits punitive damages to be awarded against any person in a health care lawsuit only if: (1) it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that such person acted with malicious intent to injure the claimant or that such person deliberately failed to avoid unnecessary injury such person knew the claimant was substantially certain to suffer; and (2) a judgment for compensatory damages has been rendered against that person. Sets forth factors that may be considered in determining the amount of punitive damages, which shall be limited to the greater of $250,000 or two times the amount of economic damages awarded. Prohibits the award of punitive damages against a manufacturer or distributor of, a supplier of any component or raw material of, or a health care provider that prescribes or dispenses, a medical product that complies with FDA standards. 

(Sec. 406) Requires the court, at the request of any party in the lawsuit, to enter a judgment ordering that future damages be paid by periodic payments, in accordance with the Uniform Periodic Payment of Judgments Act promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, if an award of future damages equaling or exceeding $50,000 is made against a party with sufficient insurance or other assets to fund such a payment.

Title VI: Committee on Ways and Means - 
Subtitle A: Recapture of Overpayments Resulting From Certain Federally-subsidized Health Insurance -

(Sec. 601) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the limitation on the recapture of advance payment amounts of the tax credit for health insurance premium assistance that exceed the allowable amount of such credit for certain low-income taxpayers.

Title VII: Sequester Replacement
Sequester Replacement Act of 2012 - (Sec. 702) 

Amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to remove veterans’ medical care from the accounts subject to a sequester.

(Sec. 703) Abolishes the distinction between security and non-security categories of discretionary spending for new budget authority in FY2013. Combines the dollar amounts of the current categories ($686 billion for the security category and $361 billion for the non-security category) into a single amount of $1.047 trillion in new budget authority.

Revises sequestration requirements for FY2013 to require a $19.104 billion across-the-board decrease in the discretionary spending category as of January 2, 2013.

Directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue a supplemental sequestration report for FY2013 to eliminate any discretionary spending breach of the $1.047 trillion spending limit, as adjusted by the $19.104 billion across-the-board reduction requirement of this Act. Directs the President to order a sequestration, if any, as required by such report.

(Sec. 704) Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to authorize the chair of the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives or the Senate to make adjustments to any legislative measure to conform to the discretionary spending limits of this Act.

(Sec. 706) Nullifies any sequestration order the President may issue under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act to carry out reductions to direct spending for the FY2013 defense function (050).



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