Summary: S.1959 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1959. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (11/18/1999)

Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1999 - Title I: Increased Accountability and Elimination of Wasteful Spending - Subtitle A: Penalties for Failure to Reduce Teen Smoking - Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to: (1) publish annually the results of an annual cigarette survey of the percentage of all individuals under the age of 18 who used a type of cigarette in the 30 days prior to the survey and the percentage of such individuals who identify each brand of each type of cigarette as the usual brand smoked in those 30 days; and (2) determine, comparing the survey results to a survey entitled "Monitoring the Future" conducted at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, the percentage reduction (if any) in youth cigarette use for each cigarette manufacturer. Authorizes the Secretary, notwithstanding any other provision of law, to conduct a survey under these provisions involving minors if the results of the survey are kept confidential and not disclosed. Makes provisions of Federal law relating to coordination of Federal information policy inapplicable to information required for carrying out these provisions.

(Sec. 102) Sets a goal that each manufacturer reduce youth cigarette use by at least 15 percent between the Monitoring the Future survey and the first annual survey and between each annual survey and the previous annual survey. Mandates industry-wide monetary penalties of $4 - $8 billion if the goal is not reached, to be paid by each manufacturer based on the percentage of cigarettes of each manufacturer that are used by youth. Exempts from penalty a manufacturer that: (1) individually complies with the goal; or (2) has a market share of one percent or less of youth cigarette use. Prohibits considering penalties to be business expenses for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code and makes them nondeductible. Provides for judicial review. Prohibits, notwithstanding any other provision of law, any court from staying any payment due pending judicial review until the Secretary has made or failed to make a compliance determination that has adversely affected the person seeking review.

(Sec. 103) Imposes a penalty for failure to make any payment within 10 days after payment is due. Sets the penalty at two percent of the penalty owed for each day after payment is due until payment is paid in full.

Subtitle B: Tobacco Advertising - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit the deduction of tobacco advertising and promotional expenses.

Subtitle C: Medicare Waste Elimination - Medicare Waste Tax Reduction Act of 1999 - Amends titles XI and XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, and other specified Federal law to mandate various specified measures to combat Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse.

(Sec. 122) Includes among such measures: (1) increased medical, utilization, and fraud reviews in a fiscal year; (2) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) oversight of home health agencies; (3) an information system for ensuring that Medicare does not reimburse claims owed by other payers; (4) civil monetary penalties for services ordered or prescribed by an excluded individual or entity, as well as for false certification of eligibility for partial hospitalization and hospice services; (5) exemption of health plans, plan issuers, and employees from liability for providing information regarding health care fraud; (6) exclusion of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and an individual's personal residence from covered locations for the provision of partial hospitalization services; (7) new health, safety, and anti-fraud requirements for community mental health centers with respect to partial hospitalization services; (8) authority for the HHS Secretary to establish a prospective payment system (PPS) for partial hospitalization services provided by a community mental health center or by a hospital; (9) repeal of certain factors required by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 for determination of the inherent reasonableness of costs for all Medicare part B (Supplementary Medical Insurance) services other than physicians' services; (10) mandatory establishment of standards regarding payment for certain orthotics and prosthetics; (11) authority for the Secretary to contract for Medicare claims processing with agencies and organizations that are not insurance companies, and to renew contracts with fiscal intermediaries meeting performance requirements without competitive procedures; and (12) addition of Y2K compliance to fiscal intermediary contract performance requirements.

(Sec. 124) Reduces the reimbursement to physicians, suppliers, or other service providers for drugs and biologicals from 95 percent of the average wholesale price to the lowest of 83 percent of such price, the actual acquisition cost, or an even lower amount according to a specified formula. Repeals the mandate of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 for reports on the average wholesale price of drugs and biologicals.

(Sec. 129) Provides that Medicare- and Medicaid-related actions shall not be stayed by bankruptcy proceedings, nor Medicare- and Medicaid-related debt discharged in bankruptcy.

(Sec. 131) Authorizes the Secretary to establish a procedure for enrolling and re-enrolling, for an appropriate fee, non-service providers that furnish covered health care items or services.

(Sec. 132) Directs the HHS Secretary to: (1) develop and implement a comprehensive plan of activities to increase Medicare compliance, education, and assistance for health care providers; and (2) contract with the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences to establish a committee to study Medicare administrative requirements applicable to Medicare health care providers, and make recommendations on how Medicare paperwork and administrative requirements can be minimized. Authorizes appropriations for such study.

(Sec. 134) Specifies application of certain sanctions to Federal health care programs.

(Sec. 135) Revises alternative criteria for payments for durable medical equipment (DME) to include the least expensive amount that the item supplier is paid by a Medicare+Choice organization or by any Federal health care program. Requires the Secretary to adjust the payment rate for any DME administrative costs exceeding those associated with providing a particular item to a Medicare+Choice organization or another Federal health care program.

(Sec. 136) Outlines provisions for implementation of a commercial claims auditing system for Medicare carriers in processing claims under Medicare part B.

(Sec. 138) Authorizes appropriations for carrying out and expanding nationwide the Health Care Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Community Volunteer Demonstration Projects (Medicare Senior Waste Patrol) conducted by the Administration on Aging.

(Sec. 141) Repeals certain conditions for the termination of agreements with agencies or organizations for the processing of Medicare part A (Hospital Insurance) claims. Revises requirements for performance standards and criteria for fiscal intermediaries. Changes certain cost reimbursement provisions from mandatory to discretionary. Repeals the Secretary's mandate, in determining administration costs, to take into account the reasonable and adequate amount to meet such costs which must be incurred by an efficiently and economically operated carrier in carrying out its contract terms.

Subtitle D: Reduction in Student Loan Fees - Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to revise requirements relating to student loan fees for insurance premiums under the programs of subsidized Federal Stafford loans, unsubsidized Stafford loans, and PLUS parent loans.

(Sec. 151) Requires each State or nonprofit private institution or organization having an agreement with the Secretary of Education under each such loan program to charge the borrower a single insurance premium in the amount of one percent of the principal amount of the loan. Requires the proceeds of the insurance premium to be paid to the Federal Government for deposit into the Treasury.

Subtitle E: Limitations on Defense Funding for Fiscal Years 2000 Through 2004 - Places specified limits on the total budget authority for budget function 050 (national defense) for each of fiscal years 2000 through 2004. Requires such amounts to be expended without adversely affecting military readiness and the quality of life of military personnel, military retirees, and their families.

(Sec. 163) Prohibits amounts expended for readiness, or peacekeeping operations that began before September 30, 1999, from being considered emergency expenditures under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, with an exception for any such operation that significantly increases in size or tempo after such date.

Subtitle F: Internal Revenue Code Provisions - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to increase the taxation of estates valued at over $10 million.

(Sec. 172) Denies the percentage depletion deduction for certain nonfuel minerals mined on Federal lands. Prohibits aggregating a separate operating mineral interest in any such nonfuel minerals with an interest other than such nonfuel minerals.

(Sec. 173) Limits the foreign earned income exclusion to taxable years beginning before January 1, 2000. Maintains the exclusion for the housing costs of U.S. citizens living abroad.

(Sec. 174) Provides for the application of the straight-line method of depreciation to tobacco manufacturing equipment.

(Sec. 175) Prohibits eligibility for the foreign tax credit of certain foreign taxes paid on foreign oil and gas income. Eliminates the tax exclusion status of foreign oil and gas extraction income by redefining the term "foreign base company oil related income."

(Sec. 176) States that the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to reallocate income and deductions among taxpayers in order to prevent tax evasion or clearly reflect income among organizations or businesses owned or controlled by the same interests shall not be limited by any restriction on the ability of such organizations or businesses to transfer or receive property.

Title II: Miscellaneous Provisions - Prohibits Federal funds from being made available to carry out the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act or the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act.

(Sec. 202) Bars the use of funds available for the Department of Energy (DOE) National Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Program to pay the costs of lobbying any Federal, State, or local government officer or employee on the question of the establishment of a low-level radioactive waste storage site at any location.

(Sec. 203) Prohibits the use of DOE funds to carry out the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative.

(Sec. 204) Limits the total amount of budget authority available for a fiscal year to Federal agencies for travel and transportation of persons, transportation of things, printing and reproduction, advisory and assistance services, and supplies and materials to the actual expenditures for such object classes in FY 1998.

(Sec. 205) Amends provisions of the Social Security Act regarding the Federal Parent Locator Service to provide for disclosure to the Secretary of Education of certain information in the National Directory of New Hires on individuals who are in default on certain loans or owe obligations to refund overpayments of grants made under the Higher Education Act. Establishes conditions on such disclosure, including that priority be given to support collection over collection of such loans or grants and that such information be used only for collecting debt owed by individuals whose annualized wage level exceeds $16,000. Permits such information to be used only for collection purposes.