Text: H.R.165 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/03/2017)

[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 165 Introduced in House (IH)]


  1st Session
                                H. R. 165

To amend titles XVI, XVIII, XIX, and XXI of the Social Security Act to 
 remove limitations on Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, and CHIP benefits for 
           persons in custody pending disposition of charges.



                            January 3, 2017

 Mr. Hastings 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 limitations on Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, and CHIP benefits for 
           persons in custody pending disposition of charges.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Restoring the Partnership for County 
Health Care Costs Act of 2017''.


    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The United States Supreme Court has interpreted the 8th 
        Amendment to require governmental entities to provide medical 
        care to persons involuntarily confined in jails, detention 
        centers, and prisons.
            (2) The Federal Government does not provide health benefits 
        under Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 
        or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to inmates 
        even if the person is awaiting trial in jail and has not been 
        convicted. However, beneficiaries who are released after 
        posting bond, or who are released under their own recognizance, 
        or who are released under house arrest may continue to receive 
        Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, and CHIP benefits.
            (3) The cost of providing health care in prisons and jails 
        has increased exponentially due in part to high incarceration 
        rates, infectious diseases, chronic conditions, substance abuse 
        treatment, mental illness, aging prison populations, rising 
        prescription drug costs, and mandatory sentencing laws.
            (4) Providing health care for inmates constitutes a major 
        portion of local jail operating costs. Requiring county 
        governments to cover health care costs for inmates who have not 
        been convicted places an unnecessary burden on local 
        governments who have been negatively impacted by recession, 
        widespread budget deficits, and cuts to safety net programs and 
            (5) Jails generally have a higher instance of mentally ill 
        inmates because jails frequently serve as holding places for 
        low-income persons who are waiting placement in a mental 
        facility and for mentally ill persons who commit nuisance 
        crimes because of inadequate access to treatment in their 
            (6) The rising cost of bail has also contributed to an 
        overall increase in the jail population and health care costs 
        for inmates. The high cost of bail has contributed to the 
        disproportionate rate of incarceration among African-Americans 
        and Latinos.
            (7) Terminating benefits to people in county jails who are 
        awaiting trial 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.
            (8) 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, SSI, or CHIP, until such time as they may 
        be convicted and sentenced to an institution. SSI payments 
        should be held until the inmate has been acquitted and 
        released, or until the inmate has completed his or her sentence 
        and been released.

              MEDICARE, SSI, AND CHIP.

    (a) Medicaid.--The subdivision (A) of section 1905(a) of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396d(a)) that follows paragraph (29) is 
amended by inserting ``or in custody pending disposition of charges'' 
after ``patient in a medical institution''.
    (b) Medicare.--Section 1862(a)(3) of the Social Security 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 the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
1382(e)(1)) is amended by adding at the end the following new 
    ``(K)(i) 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.
    ``(ii) In the case of an individual who is an eligible individual 
or eligible spouse for purposes of this title only because of the 
application of the definition in clause (i), any supplemental security 
income benefits otherwise payable shall be withheld until such time as 
the individual is no longer either in custody pending disposition of 
charges or an inmate of a public institution or shall be paid to the 
individual's estate if the individual dies before the pending charges 
are disposed of or while the individual is an inmate of a public 
    (d) CHIP.--Section 2110(b)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 1397jj(b)(2)(A)) 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.