Skip to comments.Medicare Plan Includes $1B for Immigrants
Posted on 11/25/2003 12:20:30 AM PST by yonif
WASHINGTON (AP)--Border hospitals and those required by law to treat illegal immigrants will receive $1 billion over four years to defray the costs under major health legislation that neared passage by the Senate on Monday.
The provision was part of the Medicare bill, overhauling government health care coverage for the nation's elderly. It appeared headed to President Bush.
Each state would be eligible for reimbursement, but the funding formula is skewed to help border hospitals that frequently treat illegal immigrants.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said cash-strapped hospitals in his state have been forced to scale back services or close their doors. Arizona would get the third-highest amount of money, $160 million, behind only California and Texas.
Federal law requires hospitals to care for anyone who walks through their doors. The costs of such care have forced many hospitals, especially those in border communities, to close their doors or scale back their service.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., said the reimbursement would encourage more aliens to cross the border to seek medical care. ``If you build an illegal alien entitlement program, they will come,'' he said last week as the House considered the legislation.
Members of the House and Senate from Arizona, California, Texas and New York introduced legislation earlier this year seeking $1.45 billion in reimbursement funds, but the bill has not seen any progress.
It is inconceivable that anyone could possibly know totally what's in this bill, and how its provisions will react with each other and with other things in place.
There should be some kind of protection against a bill of this magnitude being passed so hurridly. Or against one bill containing so much stuff.
I can't in my wildest imagination figure out how this bill is going to do anything but raise drug prices to eat up the subsidy, and create an unimaginable federal debt, as there is no incentive for a patient to not go over that threshold and get all new pharmaceuticals for free.
"Have they lost their minds?" No, they just realize that the US population can't focus on more than one issue at a time. And, right now that issue is the war in Iraq.
Nope. Michael Jackson.
But, when you're all paying for their viagra and lipotor you won't have to put up with them anymore...they'll all be too busy stuffing their faces, playing golf with their subsidized electric golf carts, and locked in their rooms doing you-know-what.
<^..^> (Just kidding, sort of)
Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse... ;-)
SEC. 605. ASSISTANCE WITH COVERAGE OF LEGAL IMMIGRANTS UNDER THE MEDICAID PROGRAM AND SCHIP.
(a) MEDICAID PROGRAM- Section 1903(v) (42 U.S.C. 1396b(v)) is amended--
(1) in paragraph (1), by striking `paragraph (2)' and inserting `paragraphs (2) and (4)'; and
(2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
`(4)(A) With respect to any or all of fiscal years 2005 through 2007, a State may elect (in a plan amendment under this title) to provide medical assistance under this title (including under a waiver authorized by the Secretary) for aliens who are lawfully residing in the United States (including battered aliens described in section 431(c) of such Act) and who are otherwise eligible for such assistance, within either or both of the following eligibility categories:
`(i) PREGNANT WOMEN- Women during pregnancy (and during the 60-day period beginning on the last day of the pregnancy).
`(ii) CHILDREN- Children (as defined under such plan), including optional targeted low-income children described in section 1905(u)(2)(B).
`(B)(i) In the case of a State that has elected to provide medical assistance to a category of aliens under subparagraph (A), no debt shall accrue under an affidavit of support against any sponsor of such an alien on the basis of provision of assistance to such category and the cost of such assistance shall not be considered as an unreimbursed cost.
`(ii) The provisions of sections 401(a), 402(b), 403, and 421 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 shall not apply to a State that makes an election under subparagraph (A).'.
(b) SCHIP- Section 2107(e)(1) (42 U.S.C. 1397gg(e)(1)) is amended by redesignating subparagraphs (C) and (D) as subparagraph (D) and (E), respectively, and by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following new subparagraph:
`(C) Section 1903(v)(4) (relating to optional coverage of categories of permanent resident alien children), but only if the State has elected to apply such section to the category of children under title XIX and only with respect to any or all of fiscal years 2005 through 2007.'.
SEC. 610. FEDERAL REIMBURSEMENT OF EMERGENCY HEALTH SERVICES FURNISHED TO UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS.
(a) TOTAL AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR ALLOTMENT- There is appropriated, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $250,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2008, for the purpose of making allotments under this section to States described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b). Funds appropriated under the preceding sentence shall remain available until expended.
(b) STATE ALLOTMENTS-
(1) BASED ON PERCENTAGE OF UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Out of the amount appropriated under subsection (a) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall use $167,000,000 of such amount to make allotments for such fiscal year in accordance with subparagraph (B).
(B) FORMULA- The amount of the allotment for each State for a fiscal year shall be equal to the product of--
(i) the total amount available for allotments under this paragraph for the fiscal year; and
(ii) the percentage of undocumented aliens residing in the State with respect to the total number of such aliens residing in all States, as determined by the Statistics Division of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, as of January 2003, based on the 2000 decennial census.
(2) BASED ON NUMBER OF UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN APPREHENSION STATES-
(A) IN GENERAL- Out of the amount appropriated under subsection (a) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall use $83,000,000 of such amount to make allotments for such fiscal year for each of the 6 States with the highest number of undocumented alien apprehensions for such fiscal year.
(B) DETERMINATION OF ALLOTMENTS- The amount of the allotment for each State described in subparagraph (A) for a fiscal year shall bear the same ratio to the total amount available for allotments under this paragraph for the fiscal year as the ratio of the number of undocumented alien apprehensions in the State in that fiscal year bears to the total of such numbers for all such States for such fiscal year.
(C) DATA- For purposes of this paragraph, the highest number of undocumented alien apprehensions for a fiscal year shall be based on the 4 most recent quarterly apprehension rates for undocumented aliens in such States, as reported by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
(3) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting a State that is described in both of paragraphs (1) and (2) from receiving an allotment under both paragraphs for a fiscal year.
(c) USE OF FUNDS-
(1) AUTHORITY TO MAKE PAYMENTS- From the allotments made for a State under subsection (b) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall pay directly to local governments, hospitals, or other providers located in the State (including providers of services received through an Indian Health Service facility whether operated by the Indian Health Service or by an Indian tribe or tribal organization) that provide uncompensated emergency health services furnished to undocumented aliens during that fiscal year, and to the State, such amounts (subject to the total amount available from such allotments) as the local governments, hospitals, providers, or State demonstrate were incurred for the provision of such services during that fiscal year.
(2) LIMITATION ON STATE USE OF FUNDS- Funds paid to a State from allotments made under subsection (b) for a fiscal year may only be used for making payments to local governments, hospitals, or other providers for costs incurred in providing emergency health services to undocumented aliens or for State costs incurred with respect to the provision of emergency health services to such aliens.
(3) INCLUSION OF COSTS INCURRED WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN ALIENS- Uncompensated emergency health services furnished to aliens who have been allowed to enter the United States for the sole purpose of receiving emergency health services may be included in the determination of costs incurred by a State, local government, hospital, or other provider with respect to the provision of such services.
(d) APPLICATIONS; ADVANCE PAYMENTS-
(1) DEADLINE FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF APPLICATION PROCESS- 24 (A) IN GENERAL- Not later than September 1, 2004, the Secretary shall establish a process under which States, local governments, hospitals, or other providers located in the State may apply for payments from allotments made under subsection (b) for a fiscal year for uncompensated emergency health services furnished to undocumented aliens during that fiscal year.
(B) INCLUSION OF MEASURES TO COMBAT FRAUD- The Secretary shall include in the process established under subparagraph (A) measures to ensure that fraudulent payments are not made from the allotments determined under subsection (b).
(2) ADVANCE PAYMENT; RETROSPECTIVE ADJUSTMENT- The process established under paragraph (1) shall allow for making payments under this section for each quarter of a fiscal year on the basis of advance estimates of expenditures submitted by applicants for such payments and such other investigation as the Secretary may find necessary, and for making reductions or increases in the payments as necessary to adjust for any overpayment or underpayment for prior quarters of such fiscal year.
(e) DEFINITIONS- In this section:
(1) HOSPITAL- The term `hospital' has the meaning given such term in section 1861(e) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(e)).
(2) INDIAN TRIBE; TRIBAL ORGANIZATION- The terms `Indian tribe' and `tribal organization' have the meanings given such terms in section 4 of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (25 U.S.C. 1603).
(3) PROVIDER- The term `provider' includes a physician, any other health care professional licensed under State law, and any other entity that furnishes emergency health services, including ambulance services.
(4) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
(5) STATE- The term `State' means the 50 States and the District of Columbia.
Aided and abetted by the President of the United States because of his refusal to strictly enforce the laws. This is an outrage, and he and his buddies in Congress should hear from every taxpayer/voter in strong words, and at the voting booth.
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