TICKET TO WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY ACT OF 1998
(House of Representatives - June 03, 1998)

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[Pages H4005-H4024]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




            TICKET TO WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY ACT OF 1998

  Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I 
call up House Resolution 450 and ask for its immediate consideration.

[[Page H4006]]

  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 450

       Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution it 
     shall be in order without intervention of any point of order 
     to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 3433) to amend the 
     Social Security Act to establish a Ticket to Work and Self-
     Sufficiency Program in the Social Security Administration to 
     provide beneficiaries with disabilities meaningful 
     opportunities to return to work and to extend Medicare 
     coverage for such beneficiaries, and to amend the Internal 
     Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax credit for impairment-
     related work expenses. The bill shall be considered as read 
     for amendment. The amendment recommended by the Committee on 
     Ways and Means now printed in the bill shall be considered as 
     adopted, modified by the amendment printed in the report of 
     the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution. The 
     previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, 
     as amended, and on any further amendment thereto to final 
     passage without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of 
     debate on the bill, as amended, equally divided and 
     controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the 
     Committee on Ways and Means; (2) a further amendment printed 
     in the Congressional Record pursuant to clause 6 of rule 
     XXIII, if offered by Representative Rangel of New York or his 
     designee, which shall be considered as read and shall be 
     separately debatable for one hour equally divided and 
     controlled by the proponent and an opponent; and (3) one 
     motion to recommit with or without instructions.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from North Carolina (Mrs. 
Myrick) is recognized for 1 hour.
  Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, for the purposes of debate only, I yield 
the customary 30 minutes to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. 
Slaughter), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. 
During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the 
purpose of debate only.
  Before the Memorial Day recess, the Committee on Rules met and 
granted a modified closed rule for consideration of H.R. 3433 in the 
House without intervention on any point of order. The rule provides 
that the amendment recommended by the Committee on Ways and Means shall 
be considered as adopted, as modified by the amendment printed in the 
report of the Committee on Rules.
  The rule provides for 1 hour of debate on the bill, as amended, 
equally divided between the chairman and ranking minority member of the 
Committee on Ways and Means. The rule provides for consideration of an 
amendment printed in the Congressional Record, if offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel) or his designee, which shall be 
considered as read and shall be separately debatable for 1 hour, 
equally divided between the proponent and opponent.
  Finally, the rule provides for one motion to recommit with or without 
instructions.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 3433 would reform the system under which people 
collect Social Security disability benefits and receive vocational 
rehabilitation services. Under the bill, recipients would receive a 
ticket or voucher to obtain job training services in a variety of 
private sector agencies. The Federal Government would then reimburse 
these agencies based on the number of recipients they have moved into 
gainful employment.
  CBO estimates that H.R. 3433 would add $38 million to the Federal 
surplus from 1999 to 2003 because the bill will help to move disability 
recipients off welfare and into work. Many individuals with 
disabilities want to work. They are limited, though, in their ability 
to access rehabilitation services; and they fear losing health care 
coverage and benefits.
  Having served on the board of Learning How in Charlotte for many 
years, I have seen the frustrations firsthand and the concerns.

                              {time}  1600

  This bill removes such disincentives. It broadens the rehabilitation 
choices of the disabled and it extends Medicare coverage for an 
additional 2 years for those who participate in the Ticket to Work 
program.
  Mr. Speaker, it is interesting because a lot of us do not even have 
any idea that we may one day become disabled. I had a good friend in 
this field who was disabled who called the rest of us TADs, it was 
temporarily disabled. The idea is that any day, any time it could 
happen to one of us and we would be in the same position. The bill 
makes sense. It grants the disabled a measure of independence while 
adding to the projected Federal surplus.
  I urge my colleagues to support this rule and to support the 
underlying legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from North 
Carolina for yielding me the customary 30 minutes, and I yield myself 
such time as I may consume.
  (Ms. SLAUGHTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, H.Res. 450 is a modified closed rule. The 
rule allows one amendment, if offered by Ways and Means Ranking Member 
the gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel) and if the amendment is 
previously printed in the Congressional Record.
  In general, open rules best protect all Members' rights to fully 
represent their constituents. However, I recognize the potential 
problems of allowing an unfettered amendment process on bills, such as 
this one, that amend the Social Security and Medicare Acts. The Rules 
Committee has followed the useful tradition of allowing only limited 
floor amendment during consideration of bills that revise these basic 
safety net programs.
  Mr. Speaker, the current disability system has not kept pace with the 
development of new technologies and therapies that allow individuals 
with disabilities to live and work in the mainstream of our society. 
Too often, our disability system punishes those who wish to work toward 
living independently by reducing benefits and ending the Medicare 
benefits on which they depend for their health care.
  I am proud to have supported legislation that would aid individuals 
with disabilities in education, housing, transportation, and many other 
areas. I was a cosponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act and 
have sponsored legislation to prevent genetic discrimination. I am now 
equally pleased to support H.R. 3433, the Ticket to Work and Self-
Sufficiency Act. I am a cosponsor of this legislation, and I urge my 
colleagues to vote for its passage today.
  H.R. 3433 will help to bring our Nation's disability system into line 
with the reality experienced by persons living with a disability. 
Individuals with disabilities do want to work, but they need 
rehabilitation and support services to better enable them to become 
self-sufficient over time. In particular, Medicare must be maintained 
for individuals who rely on these services to remain healthy and to be 
able to work.
  H.R. 3433 gives individuals with disabilities the ability to choose 
the provider of employment or vocational rehabilitation services that 
meets their particular needs. The chosen employment network will work 
with the beneficiary to develop an individual plan, including the 
specific services needed to achieve that individual's employment goal. 
Perhaps most importantly, during this transition period, Medicare 
coverage is guaranteed for an additional 2 years. This will allow 
beneficiaries to concentrate on building their employment skills and 
careers without the fear that they will lose their health care if they 
earn above a minimum threshold.
  To encourage the best and most comprehensive assistance for 
beneficiaries, this Act has provider payment plans keyed to the 
successful attainment of milestones toward permanent employment. For 
example, under the outcome payment system, the provider could receive 
40 percent of the average monthly benefit for each month the 
beneficiary did not receive benefits because he was working.
  Mr. Speaker, this legislation provides a responsible and humane 
alternative to our current disability system, by empowering individuals 
with disabilities to take charge of their own lives. It will enable 
many people to break free of a system that, too often, forces persons 
with disabilities to remain impoverished to continue to receive 
benefits. Instead it rewards those who want to work. I look forward to 
casting my vote today in strong support of this bill.
  I urge my colleagues to support the rule so that we may move this 
important legislation forward toward enactment into law.

[[Page H4007]]

  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I 
move the previous question on the resolution.
  The previous question was ordered.
  The resolution was agreed to.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Mr. ARCHER. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 450, I call up 
the bill (H.R. 3433) to amend the Social Security Act to establish a 
Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program in the Social Security 
Administration to provide beneficiaries with disabilities meaningful 
opportunities to return to work and to extend Medicare coverage for 
such beneficiaries, and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to 
provide a tax credit for impairment-related work expenses, and ask for 
its immediate consideration in the House.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Pease). The bill is considered read for 
amendment.
  The text of H.R. 3433 is as follows:

                               H.R. 3433

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

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Ticket to Work and Self-
     Sufficiency Act of 1998''.

     SEC. 2. THE TICKET TO WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM.

       (a) In General.--Part A of title XI of the Social Security 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end 
     the following new section:


           ``the ticket to work and self-sufficiency program

       ``Sec. 1147. (a) In General.--The Commissioner of Social 
     Security shall establish a Ticket to Work and Self-
     Sufficiency Program, under which a disabled beneficiary may 
     use a ticket to work and self-sufficiency issued by the 
     Commissioner in accordance with this section to obtain 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or 
     other support services from an employment network which is of 
     the beneficiary's choice and which is willing to provide such 
     services to such beneficiary.
       ``(b) Ticket System.--
       ``(1) Distribution of tickets.--The Commissioner of Social 
     Security may issue a ticket to work and self-sufficiency to 
     disabled beneficiaries for participation in the Program.
       ``(2) Assignment of tickets.--A disabled beneficiary 
     holding a ticket to work and self-sufficiency may assign the 
     ticket to any employment network of the beneficiary's choice 
     which is serving under the Program and is willing to accept 
     the assignment.
       ``(3) Ticket terms.--A ticket issued under paragraph (1) 
     shall consist of a document which evidences the 
     Commissioner's agreement to pay (as provided in paragraph 
     (4)) an employment network, which is serving under the 
     Program and to which such ticket is assigned by the 
     beneficiary, for such employment services, vocational 
     rehabilitation services, and other support services as the 
     employment network may agree to provide to the beneficiary.
       ``(4) Payments to employment networks.--The Commissioner 
     shall pay an employment network under the Program in 
     accordance with the outcome payment system under subsection 
     (h)(2) or under the outcome-milestone payment system under 
     subsection (h)(3) (whichever is elected pursuant to 
     subsection (h)(1)). An employment network may not request or 
     receive compensation for such services from the beneficiary.
       ``(c) State Participation.--
       ``(1) Periodic elections.--Each State agency described in 
     section 222 or 1615 may elect to participate in the Program 
     (or to revoke any such election) as an employment network. 
     The Commissioner shall provide for periodic opportunities for 
     exercising such elections (and revocations).
       ``(2) Treatment of state agencies.--Any such election (or 
     revocation) by a State agency described in section 222 or 
     1615 taking effect during any period for which an individual 
     residing in the State is a disabled beneficiary and a client 
     of the State agency shall not be effective with respect to 
     such individual to the extent that such election (or 
     revocation) would result in any change in the method of 
     payment to the State agency with respect to the individual 
     from the method of payment to the State agency with respect 
     to the individual in effect immediately before such election 
     (or revocation).
       ``(3) Effect of participation by state agency.--
       ``(A) State agencies participating.--In any case in which a 
     State agency described in section 222 or 1615 elects under 
     paragraph (1) to participate in the Program--
       ``(i) the employment services, vocational rehabilitation 
     services, and other support services which, upon assignment 
     of tickets to work and self-sufficiency, are provided to 
     disabled beneficiaries by the State agency acting as an 
     employment network shall be governed by plans for 
     vocational rehabilitation services approved under title I 
     of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and
       ``(ii) the provisions of section 222(d) and the provisions 
     of section 1615 shall not apply with respect to such State.
       ``(B) State agencies administering maternal and child 
     health services programs.--Subparagraph (A) shall not apply 
     with respect to any State agency administering a program 
     under title V of this Act.
       ``(d) Responsibilities of the Commissioner of Social 
     Security.--
       ``(1) Selection and qualifications of program managers.--
     The Commissioner of Social Security shall enter into 
     agreements with one or more organizations in the private or 
     public sector for service as a program manager to assist the 
     Commissioner in administering the Program. Any such program 
     manager shall be selected by means of a competitive bidding 
     process, from among organizations in the private or public 
     sector with available expertise and experience in the field 
     of vocational rehabilitation or employment services.
       ``(2) Tenure, renewal, and early termination.--Each 
     agreement entered into under paragraph (1) shall provide for 
     early termination upon failure to meet performance standards 
     which shall be specified in the agreement and which shall be 
     weighted to take into account any performance in prior terms. 
     Such performance standards shall include (but are not limited 
     to)--
       ``(A) measures for ease of access by beneficiaries to 
     services, and
       ``(B) measures for determining the extent to which failures 
     in obtaining services for beneficiaries fall within 
     acceptable parameters, as determined by the Commissioner.
       ``(3) Preclusion from direct participation in delivery of 
     services in own service area.--Agreements under paragraph (1) 
     shall preclude--
       ``(A) direct participation by a program manager in the 
     delivery of employment services, vocational rehabilitation 
     services, or other support services to beneficiaries in the 
     service area covered by the program manager's agreement, and
       ``(B) the holding by a program manager of a financial 
     interest in an employment network or service provider which 
     provides services in a geographic area covered under the 
     program manager's agreement.
       ``(4) Selection of employment networks.--The Commissioner 
     shall select and enter into agreements with employment 
     networks for service under the Program. Such employment 
     networks shall be in addition to State agencies serving as 
     employment networks pursuant to elections under subsection 
     (c).
       ``(5) Termination of agreements with employment 
     networks..--The Commissioner shall terminate agreements with 
     employment networks for inadequate performance, as determined 
     by the Commissioner.
       ``(6) Quality assurance.--The Commissioner shall provide 
     for such periodic reviews as are necessary to provide for 
     effective quality assurance in the provision of services by 
     employment networks. The Commissioner shall take into account 
     the views of consumers and the program manager under which 
     the employment networks serve and shall consult with 
     providers of services to develop performance measurements. 
     The Commissioner shall ensure that the results of the 
     periodic reviews are made available to beneficiaries who are 
     prospective service recipients as they select employment 
     networks. The Commissioner shall ensure the performance of 
     periodic surveys of beneficiaries receiving services under 
     the Program designed to measure customer service 
     satisfaction.
       ``(7) Dispute resolution.--The Commissioner shall provide 
     for a mechanism for resolving disputes between beneficiaries 
     and employment networks and between program managers and 
     employment networks. The Commissioner shall afford a party to 
     such a dispute a reasonable opportunity for a full and fair 
     review of the matter in dispute.
       ``(e) Program Managers.--
       ``(1) In general.--A program manager shall conduct tasks 
     appropriate to assist the Commissioner in carrying out the 
     Commissioner's duties in administering the Program.
       ``(2) Recruitment of employment networks.--A program 
     manager shall recruit, and recommend for selection by the 
     Commissioner, employment networks for service under the 
     Program. The program manager shall carry out such recruitment 
     and provide such recommendations, and shall monitor all 
     employment networks serving in the Program in the geographic 
     area covered under the program manager's agreement, to the 
     extent necessary and appropriate to ensure that adequate 
     choices of services are made available to beneficiaries. 
     Employment networks may serve under the Program only pursuant 
     to an agreement entered into with the Commissioner under the 
     Program incorporating the applicable provisions of this 
     section and regulations thereunder, and the program manager 
     shall provide and maintain assurances to the Commissioner 
     that payment by the Commissioner to employment networks 
     pursuant to this section is warranted based on compliance by 
     such employment networks with the terms of such agreement and 
     this section. The program manager shall not impose numerical 
     limits on the number of employment networks to be recommended 
     pursuant to this paragraph.
       ``(3) Facilitation of access by beneficiaries to employment 
     networks.--A program manager shall facilitate access by 
     beneficiaries to employment networks. The program 
     manager shall ensure that each beneficiary is allowed 
     changes in employment networks for good cause, as 
     determined by

[[Page H4008]]

     the Commissioner, without being deemed to have rejected 
     services under the Program. The program manager shall 
     establish and maintain lists of employment networks 
     available to beneficiaries and shall make such lists 
     generally available to the public.
       ``(4) Ensuring availability of adequate services.--The 
     program manager shall ensure that employment networks provide 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or 
     other support services to beneficiaries throughout specified 
     service areas, including rural areas.
       ``(5) Reasonable access to services.--The program manager 
     shall take such measures as are necessary to ensure that 
     sufficient employment networks are available and that each 
     beneficiary receiving their services under the Program has 
     reasonable access to employment services, vocational 
     rehabilitation services, or other support services. Such 
     services may include case management, career planning, career 
     plan development, vocational assessment, job training, 
     placement, follow-up services, and such other services as may 
     be specified by the Commissioner under the Program.
       ``(f) Employment Networks.--
       ``(1) Qualifications for employment networks.--Each 
     employment network serving under the Program shall consist of 
     an agency or instrumentality of a State (or a political 
     subdivision thereof) or a private entity, which assumes 
     responsibility for the coordination and delivery of services 
     under the Program to individuals assigning to the employment 
     network tickets to work and self-sufficiency issued under 
     subsection (b). No employment network may serve under the 
     Program unless it demonstrates to the Commissioner 
     substantial expertise and experience in the field of 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or 
     other support services for individuals with disabilities and 
     provides an array of such services. An employment network 
     shall consist of either a single provider of such services or 
     of an association of such providers organized so as to 
     combine their resources into a single entity. An employment 
     network may meet the requirements of subsection (e)(4) by 
     providing services directly, or by entering into agreements 
     with other individuals or entities providing appropriate 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or 
     other support services.
       ``(2) Requirements relating to provision of services.--Each 
     employment network serving under the Program shall be 
     required under the terms of its agreement with the 
     Commissioner to--
       ``(A) serve prescribed service areas,
       ``(B) meet, and maintain compliance with, both general 
     selection criteria (such as professional and governmental 
     certification and educational credentials) and specific 
     selection criteria (such as the extent of work experience by 
     the provider with specific populations), and
       ``(C) take such measures as are necessary to ensure that 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and 
     other support services provided under the Program by, or 
     under agreements entered into with, the employment network 
     are provided under appropriate individual employment plans 
     meeting the requirements of subsection (g).
       ``(3) Annual financial reporting.--Each employment network 
     shall meet financial reporting requirements as prescribed by 
     the Commissioner.
       ``(4) Periodic outcomes reporting.--Each employment network 
     shall prepare periodic reports, on at least an annual basis, 
     itemizing for the covered period specific outcomes achieved 
     with respect to specific services provided by the employment 
     network. Such reports shall conform to a national model 
     prescribed under this section. Each employment network shall 
     provide a copy of the latest report issued by the employment 
     network pursuant to this paragraph to each beneficiary upon 
     enrollment under the Program for services to be received 
     through such employment network. Upon issuance of each report 
     to each beneficiary, a copy of the report shall be maintained 
     in the files of the employment network pertaining to the 
     beneficiary. The program manager shall ensure that copies of 
     all such reports issued under this paragraph are made 
     available to the public under reasonable terms.
       ``(g) Individual Employment Plans.--
       ``(1) In general.--Each employment network shall--
       ``(A) take such measures as are necessary to ensure that 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and 
     other support services provided under the Program by, or 
     under agreements entered into with, the employment network 
     are provided under appropriate individual employment plans 
     as defined by the Commissioner, and
       ``(B) develop and implement each such individual employment 
     plan, in the case of each beneficiary receiving such 
     services, in a manner that affords such beneficiary the 
     opportunity to exercise informed choice in selecting an 
     employment goal and specific services needed to achieve that 
     employment goal.

     A beneficiary's individual employment plan shall take effect 
     upon approval by the beneficiary.
       ``(2) Employment evaluation.--In devising the employment 
     plan, the employment network shall undertake an employment 
     evaluation with respect to the beneficiary. Each employment 
     evaluation shall set forth in writing such elements and shall 
     be in such format as the Commissioner shall prescribe.
       ``(h) Employment Network Payment Systems.--
       ``(1) Election of payment system by employment networks.--
       ``(A) In general.--The Program shall provide for payment 
     authorized by the Commissioner to employment networks under 
     either an outcome payment system or an outcome-milestone 
     payment system. Each employment network shall elect which 
     payment system will be utilized by the employment network, 
     and, for such period of time as such election remains in 
     effect, the payment system so elected shall be utilized 
     exclusively in connection with such employment network 
     (except as provided in subparagraph (B)).
       ``(B) Method of payment to employment networks.--Any such 
     election by an employment network taking effect during any 
     period for which a disabled beneficiary is receiving services 
     from such employment network shall not be effective with 
     respect to such beneficiary to the extent that such election 
     would result in any change in the method of payment to the 
     employment network with respect to services provided to such 
     beneficiary from the method of payment to the employment 
     network with respect to services provided to such beneficiary 
     as of immediately before such election.
       ``(2) Outcome payment system.--
       ``(A) In general.--The outcome payment system shall consist 
     of a payment structure governing employment networks electing 
     such system under paragraph (1)(A) which meets the 
     requirements of this paragraph.
       ``(B) Payments made during outcome payment period.--The 
     outcome payment system shall provide for a schedule of 
     payments to an employment network, in connection with each 
     individual who is a beneficiary, for each month described in 
     paragraph (4)(B) in connection with such individual which 
     occurs during the individual's outcome payment period.
       ``(C) Computation of payments to employment network.--The 
     payment schedule of the outcome payment system shall be 
     designed so that--
       ``(i) the payment for each of the 60 months during the 
     outcome payment period which are described in paragraph 
     (4)(B) is equal to a fixed percentage of the payment 
     calculation base for the calendar year in which such month 
     occurs, and
       ``(ii) such fixed percentage is set at a percentage which 
     does not exceed 40 percent.
       ``(3) Outcome-milestone payment system.--
       ``(A) In general.--The outcome-milestone payment system 
     shall consist of a payment structure governing employment 
     networks electing such system under paragraph (1)(A) which 
     meets the requirements of this paragraph.
       ``(B) Early payments upon attainment of milestones in 
     advance of outcome payment periods.--The outcome-milestone 
     payment system shall provide for one or more milestones, with 
     respect to beneficiaries receiving services from an 
     employment network under the Program, which are directed 
     toward the goal of permanent employment. Such milestones 
     shall form a part of a payment structure which provides, in 
     addition to payments made during outcome payment periods, 
     payments made prior to outcome payment periods in amounts 
     based on the attainment of such milestones.
       ``(C) Limitation on total payments to employment network.--
     The payment schedule of the outcome milestone payment 
     system shall be designed so that the total of the payments 
     to the employment network with respect to each beneficiary 
     is less than, on a net present value basis (using an 
     interest rate determined by the Commissioner that 
     appropriately reflects the cost of funds faced by 
     providers), the total amount to which payments to the 
     employment network with respect to the beneficiary would 
     be limited if the employment network were paid under the 
     outcome payment system.
       ``(4) Definitions.--For purposes of this subsection--
       ``(A) Payment calculation base.--The term `payment 
     calculation base' means, for any calendar year--
       ``(i) in connection with a title II disability beneficiary, 
     the average disability insurance benefit payable under 
     section 223 for all beneficiaries for months during the 
     preceding calendar year, and
       ``(ii) in connection with a title XVI disability 
     beneficiary (who is not concurrently a title II disability 
     beneficiary), the average payment of supplemental security 
     income benefits based on disability payable under title XVI 
     (excluding State supplementation) to all beneficiaries having 
     attained 18 years of age for months during the preceding 
     calendar year.
       ``(B) Outcome payment period.--The term `outcome payment 
     period' means, in connection with an individual who is a 
     disabled beneficiary, a period--
       ``(i) beginning with the first month--

       ``(I) for which benefits are not payable to such individual 
     by reason of engagement in substantial gainful activity, and
       ``(II) which ends after such beneficiary has assigned a 
     ticket to work and self-sufficiency to an employment network, 
     and

       ``(ii) ending with the 60th month (consecutive or 
     otherwise) following the first month for which benefits are 
     not payable to such individual by reason of engagement in 
     work activity.
       ``(5) Periodic review and alterations of prescribed 
     schedules.--

[[Page H4009]]

       ``(A) Percentages and periods.--The Commissioner of Social 
     Security shall periodically review the percentages specified 
     in paragraphs (2)(C) and (3)(C) and the period of time 
     specified in paragraph (4)(B) to determine whether such 
     percentages and such period provide an adequate incentive for 
     employment networks to assist beneficiaries to enter the 
     workforce, while providing for appropriate economies. The 
     Commissioner may alter any of such percentages or such period 
     of time to the extent that the Commissioner determines, on 
     the basis of the Commissioner's review under this paragraph, 
     that such an alteration would better provide the incentive 
     and economies described in the preceding sentence.
       ``(B) Number and amount of milestone payments.--The 
     Commissioner shall periodically review the number and amounts 
     of milestone payments initially established by the 
     Commissioner pursuant to this section to determine whether to 
     allow an adequate incentive for employment networks to assist 
     beneficiaries to enter the workforce, taking into account 
     information provided to the Commissioner by program managers, 
     the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Advisory Panel, and 
     other reliable sources. The Commissioner may from time to 
     time alter the number and amounts of milestone payments 
     initially established by the Commissioner pursuant to this 
     section to the extent that the Commissioner determines that 
     such an alteration would allow an adequate incentive for 
     employment networks to assist beneficiaries to enter the 
     workforce. Such alteration shall be based on information 
     provided to the Commissioner by program managers, the Ticket 
     to Work and Self-Sufficiency Advisory Panel, or other 
     reliable sources.
       ``(i) Authorizations.--
       ``(1) Title ii disability beneficiaries.--There are 
     authorized to be transferred from the Federal Old-Age and 
     Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability 
     Insurance Trust Fund each fiscal year such sums as may be 
     necessary to carry out the provisions of this section with 
     respect to title II disability beneficiaries. Money paid from 
     the Trust Funds under this section with respect to title II 
     disability beneficiaries who are entitled to benefits under 
     section 223 or who are entitled to benefits under section 
     202(d) on the basis of the wages and self-employment income 
     of such beneficiaries, shall be charged to the Federal 
     Disability Insurance Trust Fund, and all other money paid 
     from the Trust Funds under this section shall be charged to 
     the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund. The 
     Commissioner of Social Security shall determine according to 
     such methods and procedures as shall be prescribed under this 
     section--
       ``(A) the total amount to be paid to program managers and 
     employment networks under this section, and
       ``(B) subject to the provisions of the preceding sentence, 
     the amount which should be charged to each of the Trust 
     Funds.
       ``(2) Title xvi disability beneficiaries.--Amounts 
     authorized to be appropriated to the Social Security 
     Administration under section 1601 (as in effect pursuant to 
     the amendments made by section 301 of the Social Security 
     Amendments of 1972) shall include amounts necessary to carry 
     out the provisions of this section with respect to title XVI 
     disability beneficiaries.
       ``(j) Definitions.--For purposes of this section--
       ``(1) Disabled beneficiary.--The term `disabled 
     beneficiary' means a title II disability beneficiary or a 
     title XVI disability beneficiary.
       ``(2) Title ii disability beneficiary.--The term `title II 
     disability beneficiary' means an individual entitled to 
     disability insurance benefits under section 223 or to monthly 
     insurance benefits under section 202 based on such 
     individual's disability (as defined in section 223(d)). An 
     individual is a title II disability beneficiary for each 
     month for which such individual is entitled to such benefits.
       ``(3) Title xvi disability beneficiary.--The term `title 
     XVI disability beneficiary' means an individual eligible for 
     supplemental security income benefits under title XVI on the 
     basis of blindness (within the meaning of section 1614(a)(2)) 
     or disability (within the meaning of section 1614(a)(3)). An 
     individual is a title XVI disability beneficiary for each 
     month for which such individual is eligible for such 
     benefits.
       ``(k) Regulations.--The Commissioner of Social Security 
     shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry 
     out the provisions of this section.''.
       (b) Conforming Amendments.--
       (1) Amendments to title ii.--
       (A) Section 222(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 422(a)) is 
     repealed.
       (B) Section 222(b) of such Act is repealed.
       (C) Section 225(b)(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 425(b)(1)) is 
     amended by striking ``a program of vocational rehabilitation 
     services'' and inserting ``a program consisting of the Ticket 
     to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program under section 1147 or 
     another program of vocational rehabilitation services, 
     employment services, or other support services''.
       (2) Amendments to title xvi.--
       (A) Section 1615(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1382d(a)) is 
     amended to read as follows:
       ``Sec. 1615. (a) In the case of any blind or disabled 
     individual who--
       ``(1) has not attained age 16, and
       ``(2) with respect to whom benefits are paid under this 
     title,
     the Commissioner of Social Security shall make provision for 
     referral of such individual to the appropriate State agency 
     administering the State program under title V.''.
       (B) Section 1615(c) of such Act is repealed.
       (c) Effective Date.--Subject to subsection (d), the 
     amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) shall take effect 
     with the first month following one year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act.
       (d) Graduated Implementation of Program.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 360 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Commissioner of Social 
     Security shall commence implementation of the amendments made 
     by this section (other than paragraphs (1)(B) and (2)(B) of 
     subsection (b)) in graduated phases at phase-in sites 
     selected by the Commissioner. Such phase-in sites shall be 
     selected so as to ensure, prior to full implementation of the 
     Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program, the development 
     and refinement of referral processes, payment systems, 
     computer linkages, management information systems, and 
     administrative processes necessary to provide for full 
     implementation of such amendments.
       (2) Requirements.--Implementation of the Program at each 
     phase-in site shall be carried out on a wide enough scale to 
     permit a thorough evaluation of the alternative methods under 
     consideration, so as to ensure that the most efficacious 
     methods are determined and in place for full implementation 
     of the Program on a timely basis.
       (3) Full implementation.--The Commissioner shall ensure 
     that the Program is fully implemented as soon as practicable 
     on or after the effective date specified in subsection (c) 
     but not later than six years after such date.
       (4) Ongoing evaluation of program.--
       (A) In general.--The Commissioner shall design and conduct 
     a series of evaluations to assess the cost-effectiveness of 
     activities carried out under this section and the amendments 
     made thereby, as well as the effects of this section and the 
     amendments made thereby on work outcomes for beneficiaries 
     receiving tickets to work and self-sufficiency under the 
     Program.
       (B) Methodology.--
       (i) Design and implementation.--The Commissioner shall 
     design the series of evaluations after receiving relevant 
     advice from experts in the fields of disability, vocational 
     rehabilitation, and program evaluation. In designing and 
     carrying out such evaluations, the Commissioner shall consult 
     with the Comptroller General of the United States and other 
     agencies of the Federal Government and with private 
     organizations with appropriate expertise. Before provision 
     of services begins under any phase of Program 
     implementation, the Commissioner shall ensure that plans 
     for such evaluations and data collection methods are in 
     place and ready for implementation.
       (ii) Specific matters to be addressed.--Each such 
     evaluation shall address (but is not limited to):

       (I) the annual cost (including net cost) of the Program and 
     the annual cost (including net cost) that would have been 
     incurred in the absence of the Program;
       (II) the determinants of return to work, including the 
     characteristics of beneficiaries in receipt of tickets under 
     the Program;
       (III) the types of employment services, vocational 
     rehabilitation services, and other support services furnished 
     to beneficiaries in receipt of tickets under the Program who 
     return to work and to those who do not return to work;
       (IV) the duration of employment services, vocational 
     rehabilitation services, and other support services furnished 
     to beneficiaries in receipt of tickets under the Program who 
     return to work and the duration of such services furnished to 
     those who do not return to work and the cost to employment 
     networks of furnishing such services;
       (V) the employment outcomes, including wages, occupations, 
     benefits, and hours worked, of beneficiaries who return to 
     work after receiving tickets under the Program and those who 
     return to work without receiving such tickets;
       (VI) the characteristics of providers whose services are 
     provided within an employment network under the Program;
       (VII) the extent (if any) to which employment networks 
     display a greater willingness to provide services to disabled 
     beneficiaries;
       (VIII) the characteristics (including employment outcomes) 
     of those beneficiaries who receive services under the outcome 
     payment system and of those beneficiaries who receive 
     services under the outcome-milestone payment system; and
       (IX) measures of satisfaction among beneficiaries in 
     receipt of tickets under the Program.

       (C) Periodic evaluation reports.--Following the close of 
     the third and fifth fiscal years ending after the effective 
     date under subsection (c), and prior to the close of the 
     seventh fiscal year ending after such date, the Commissioner 
     shall transmit to the Committee on Ways and Means of the 
     House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the 
     Senate a report containing the Commissioner's evaluation of 
     the progress of activities conducted under the provisions of 
     this section and the amendments made thereby. Each such 
     report shall set forth the Commissioner's evaluation of the 
     extent to which the Program has been successful and the 
     Commissioner's conclusions on whether or how the Program 
     should be modified. Each such report shall include such data, 
     findings, materials, and recommendations as the Commissioner 
     may consider appropriate.

[[Page H4010]]

       (e) The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Advisory 
     Panel.--
       (1) Establishment.--There is established in the Social 
     Security Administration a panel to be known as the ``Ticket 
     to Work and Self-Sufficiency Advisory Panel'' (in this 
     subsection referred to as the ``Panel'').
       (2) Duties of panel.--It shall be the duty of the Panel 
     to--
       (A) advise the Commissioner of Social Security on 
     establishing phase-in sites for the Ticket to Work and Self-
     Sufficiency Program and on fully implementing the Program 
     thereafter,
       (B) advise the Commissioner with respect to the refinement 
     of access of disabled beneficiaries to employment networks, 
     payment systems, and management information systems and 
     advise the Commissioner whether such measures are being taken 
     to the extent necessary to ensure the success of the Program,
       (C) advise the Commissioner regarding the most effective 
     designs for research and demonstration projects associated 
     with the Program or conducted pursuant to subsection (h), and
       (D) furnish progress reports on the Program to the 
     President and each House of the Congress.
       (3) Membership.--
       (A) Number and appointment.--The Panel shall be composed of 
     6 members as follows:
       (i) 1 member appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on 
     Ways and Means of the House of Representatives;
       (ii) 1 member appointed by the ranking minority member of 
     the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of 
     Representatives;
       (iii) 1 member appointed by the Chairman of the Committee 
     on Finance of the Senate;
       (iv) 1 member appointed by the ranking minority member of 
     the Committee on Finance of the Senate; and
       (v) 2 members appointed by the President, not more than 1 
     of whom may be of the same political party.
       (B) Representation.--Of the members appointed under 
     subparagraph (A)--
       (i) at least one shall represent the interests of 
     recipients of employment services, vocational rehabilitation 
     services, and other support services,
       (ii) at least one shall represent the interests of 
     providers of employment services, vocational rehabilitation 
     services, and other support services, and
       (iii) at least one shall represent the interests of private 
     employers.
       (C) Terms.--
       (i) In general.--Each member shall be appointed for a term 
     of 4 years (or, if less, for the remaining life of the 
     Panel), except as provided in clauses (ii) and (iii).
       (ii) Terms of initial appointees.--As designated by the 
     President at the time of appointment, of the members first 
     appointed--

       (I) 3 of the members appointed under subparagraph (A) shall 
     be appointed for a term of 2 years, and
       (II) 3 of the members appointed under subparagraph (A) 
     shall be appointed for a term of 4 years.

       (iii) Vacancies.--Any member appointed to fill a vacancy 
     occurring before the expiration of the term for which the 
     member's predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only 
     for the remainder of that term. A member may serve after the 
     expiration of that member's term until a successor has taken 
     office. A vacancy in the Panel shall be filled in the manner 
     in which the original appointment was made.
       (D) Basic pay.--Members shall each be paid at a rate equal 
     to the daily equivalent of the rate of basic pay for level 4 
     of the Senior Executive Service, as in effect from time to 
     time under section 5382 of title 5, United States Code, for 
     each day (including travel time) during which they are 
     engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the 
     Panel.
       (E) Travel expenses.--Each member shall receive travel 
     expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in 
     accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United 
     States Code.
       (F) Quorum.--4 members of the Panel shall constitute a 
     quorum but a lesser number may hold hearings.
       (G) Chairperson.--The Chairperson of the Panel shall be 
     designated by the President. The term of office of the 
     Chairperson shall be 4 years.
       (H) Meetings.--The Panel shall meet at least quarterly and 
     at other times at the call of the Chairperson or a majority 
     of its members.
       (4) Director and staff of panel; experts and consultants.--
       (A) Director.--The Panel shall have a Director who shall be 
     appointed by the Panel. The Director shall be paid at a rate 
     not to exceed the maximum rate of pay payable for GS-15 of 
     the General Schedule.
       (B) Staff.--Subject to rules prescribed by the Panel, the 
     Director may appoint and fix the pay of additional personnel 
     as the Director considers appropriate.
       (C) Experts and consultants.--Subject to rules prescribed 
     by the Panel, the Director may procure temporary and 
     intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, 
     United States Code.
       (D) Staff of federal agencies.--Upon request of the Panel, 
     the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a 
     reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that department 
     or agency to the Panel to assist it in carrying out its 
     duties under this Act.
       (5) Powers of panel.--
       (A) Hearings and sessions.--The Panel may, for the purpose 
     of carrying out its duties under this subsection, hold such 
     hearings, sit and act at such times and places, and take such 
     testimony and evidence as the Panel considers appropriate.
       (B) Powers of members and agents.--Any member or agent of 
     the Panel may, if authorized by the Panel, take any action 
     which the Panel is authorized to take by this section.
       (C) Mails.--The Panel may use the United States mails in 
     the same manner and under the same conditions as other 
     departments and agencies of the United States.
       (D) Administrative support services.--Upon the request of 
     the Panel, the Administrator of General Services shall 
     provide to the Panel, on a reimbursable basis, the 
     administrative support services necessary for the Panel to 
     carry out its duties under this subsection.
       (6) Reports.--
       (A) Interim reports.--The Panel shall submit to the 
     President and the Congress interim reports at least annually.
       (B) Final report.--The Panel shall transmit a final report 
     to the President and the Congress not later than eight years 
     after the date of the enactment of this Act. The final report 
     shall contain a detailed statement of the findings and 
     conclusions of the Panel, together with its recommendations 
     for legislation and administrative actions which the Panel 
     considers appropriate.
       (7) Termination.--The Panel shall terminate 30 days after 
     the date of the submission of its final report under 
     paragraph (6)(B).
       (8) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated from the Federal Old-Age and Survivors 
     Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust 
     Fund, and the general fund of the Treasury, as appropriate, 
     such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection.
       (f) Specific Regulations Required.--
       (1) In general.--The Commissioner of Social Security shall 
     prescribe such regulations as are necessary to implement the 
     amendments made by this section.
       (2) Specific matters to be included in regulations.--The 
     matters which shall be addressed in such regulations shall 
     include (but are not limited to)--
       (A) the form and manner in which tickets to work and self-
     sufficiency may be distributed to existing beneficiaries 
     pursuant to section 1147(b)(1) of such Act;
       (B) the format and wording of such tickets, which shall 
     incorporate by reference any contractual terms governing 
     service by employment networks under the Program;
       (C) the form and manner in which State agencies may elect 
     participation in the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency 
     Program (and revoke such an election) pursuant to section 
     1147(c)(1) of such Act and provision for periodic 
     opportunities for exercising such elections (and 
     revocations);
       (D) the status of State agencies under section 1147(c)(2) 
     at the time that State agencies exercise elections (and 
     revocations) under such section 1147(c)(1);
       (E) the terms of agreements to be entered into with program 
     managers pursuant to section 1147(d) of such Act, including 
     (but not limited to)--
       (i) the terms by which program managers are precluded from 
     direct participation in the delivery of services pursuant to 
     section 1147(d)(3) of such Act,
       (ii) standards which must be met by quality assurance 
     measures referred to in paragraph (6) of section 1147(d) and 
     methods of recruitment of employment networks utilized 
     pursuant to paragraph (2) of section 1147(e), and
       (iii) the format under which dispute resolution will 
     operate under section 1147(d)(7).
       (F) the terms of agreements to be entered into with 
     employment networks pursuant to section 1147(d)(4) of such 
     Act, including (but not limited to)--
       (i) the manner in which service areas are specified 
     pursuant to section 1147(f)(2)(A) of such Act,
       (ii) the general selection criteria and the specific 
     selection criteria which are applicable to employment 
     networks under section 1147(f)(2)(B) of such Act in selecting 
     service providers,
       (iii) specific requirements relating to annual financial 
     reporting by employment networks pursuant to section 
     1147(f)(3) of such Act, and
       (iv) the national model to which periodic outcomes 
     reporting by employment networks must conform under section 
     1147(f)(4) of such Act;
       (G) standards which must be met by individual employment 
     plans pursuant to section 1147(g) of such Act;
       (H) standards which must be met by payment systems required 
     under section 1147(h) of such Act, including (but not limited 
     to)--
       (i) the form and manner in which elections by employment 
     networks of payment systems are to be exercised pursuant to 
     section 1147(h)(1)(A),
       (ii) the terms which must be met by an outcome payment 
     system under section 1147(h)(2);
       (iii) the terms which must be met by an outcome-milestone 
     payment system under section 1147(h)(3);
       (iv) any revision of the percentage specified in paragraph 
     (2)(C) of section 1147(h) of such Act or the period of time 
     specified in paragraph (4)(B) of such section 1147(h); and
       (v) annual oversight procedures for such systems; and

[[Page H4011]]

       (I) procedures for effective oversight of the Program by 
     the Commissioner of Social Security, including periodic 
     reviews and reporting requirements.
       (g) Work Incentive Specialists.--The Commissioner shall 
     establish a corps of trained, accessible, and responsive work 
     incentive specialists to specialize in title II and title XVI 
     disability work incentives for the purpose of disseminating 
     accurate information to disabled beneficiaries (as defined in 
     section 1147(j)(1) of the Social Security Act as amended by 
     this Act) with respect to inquiries and issues relating to 
     work incentives.
       (h) Demonstration Projects Providing for Reductions in 
     Disability Insurance Benefits Based on Earnings. --
       (1) Authority.--The Commissioner shall conduct 
     demonstration projects for the purpose of evaluating, through 
     the collection of data, a program for title II disability 
     beneficiaries (as defined in section 1147(j)(2) of the Social 
     Security Act, as amended by this Act) under which each $1 of 
     benefits payable under section 223, or under section 202 
     based on the beneficiary's disability, is reduced for each $2 
     of such beneficiary's earnings that is above a level to be 
     determined by the Commissioner. Such projects shall be 
     conducted at a number of localities which the Commissioner 
     shall determine is sufficient to adequately evaluate the 
     appropriateness of national implementation of such a program. 
     Such projects shall identify reductions in Federal 
     expenditures that may result from the permanent 
     implementation of such a program.
       (2) Scope and scale and matters to be determined.--
       (A) In general.--The demonstration projects developed under 
     paragraph (1) shall be of sufficient duration, shall be of 
     sufficient scope, and shall be carried out on a wide enough 
     scale to permit a thorough evaluation of the project to 
     determine--
       (i) the effects, if any, of induced entry and reduced exit,
       (ii) the extent, if any, to which the project being tested 
     is affected by whether it is in operation in a locality 
     within an area under the administration of the Ticket to Work 
     and Self-Sufficiency Program, and
       (iii) the savings that accrue to the Trust Funds under the 
     project being tested.
     The Commissioner shall take into account advice provided by 
     the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Advisory Panel 
     pursuant to subsection (e)(2)(C).
       (B) Additional matters.--The Commissioner shall also 
     determine with respect to each project--
       (i) the annual cost (including net cost) of the project and 
     the annual cost (including net cost) that would have been 
     incurred in the absence of the project,
       (ii) the determinants of return to work, including the 
     characteristics of the beneficiaries who participate in the 
     project, and
       (iii) the employment outcomes, including wages, 
     occupations, benefits, and hours worked, of beneficiaries who 
     return to work as a result of participation in the project.
       (3) Waivers.--The Commissioner may waive compliance with 
     the benefit requirements of title II of the Social Security 
     Act, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services may waive 
     compliance with the benefit requirements of title XVIII of 
     such Act, in so far as is necessary for a thorough evaluation 
     of the alternative methods under consideration. No such 
     experiment or project shall be actually placed in operation 
     unless at least 90 days prior thereto a written report, 
     prepared for purposes of notification and information only 
     and containing a full and complete description thereof, has 
     been transmitted by the Commissioner to the Committee on Ways 
     and Means of the House of Representatives and to the 
     Committee on Finance of the Senate. Periodic reports on the 
     progress of such experiments and projects shall be submitted 
     by the Commissioner to such committees. When appropriate, 
     such reports shall include detailed recommendations for 
     changes in administration or law, or both, to carry out the 
     objectives stated in paragraph (1).
       (4) Interim reports.--On or before June 9 in 2000 and each 
     of the succeeding years thereafter, the Commissioner shall 
     submit to the Congress an interim report on the progress of 
     the experiments and demonstration projects carried out under 
     this subsection together with any related data and materials 
     which the Commissioner may consider appropriate.
       (5) Final report.--The Commissioner shall submit to the 
     Congress a final report with respect to all experiments and 
     demonstration projects carried out under this section no 
     later than one year after their completion.
       (6) Expenditures.--Expenditures made for demonstration 
     projects under this subsection shall be made from the Federal 
     Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Old-Age and 
     Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, as determined appropriate by 
     the Commissioner, and from the Federal Hospital Insurance 
     Trust Fund and the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance 
     Trust Fund, as determined appropriate by the Secretary of 
     Health and Human Services, to the extent provided in advance 
     in appropriation Acts.

     SEC. 3. EXTENDING MEDICARE COVERAGE FOR OASDI DISABILITY 
                   BENEFIT RECIPIENTS WHO ARE USING TICKETS TO 
                   WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY.

       (a) In General.--The next to last sentence of section 
     226(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 426) is 
     amended--
       (1) by striking ``throughout all of which'' and inserting 
     ``throughout the first 24 months of which'', and
       (2) by inserting after ``but not in excess of 24 such 
     months'' the following: ``(plus 24 additional such months in 
     the case of an individual who the Commissioner determines is 
     using a ticket to work and self-sufficiency issued under 
     section 1147, but only for additional months that occur in 
     the 7-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of 
     the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998)''.
       (b) Report.--Not later than 6 months prior to the end of 
     the 7-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the 
     Commissioner of Social Security shall submit in writing to 
     each House of the Congress their recommendations for further 
     legislative action with respect to the amendments made by 
     subsection (a), taking into account experience derived from 
     efforts to achieve full implementation of the Ticket to Work 
     and Self Sufficiency Program under section 1147 of the Social 
     Security Act.

     SEC. 4. CREDIT FOR IMPAIRMENT-RELATED WORK EXPENSES OF 
                   HANDICAPPED INDIVIDUALS.

       (a) In General.--Subpart A of part IV of subchapter A of 
     chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to 
     nonrefundable personal credits) is amended by inserting after 
     section 25A the following new section:

     ``SEC. 25B. IMPAIRMENT-RELATED WORK EXPENSES OF HANDICAPPED 
                   INDIVIDUALS.

       ``(a) Allowance of Credit.--In the case of a handicapped 
     individual, there shall be allowed as a credit against the 
     tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year an amount 
     equal to 50 percent of the impairment-related work expenses 
     which are paid or incurred by the taxpayer during the taxable 
     year.
       ``(b) Maximum Credit.--The credit allowed by subsection (a) 
     with respect to the expenses of each handicapped individual 
     shall not exceed $5,000 for the taxable year.
       ``(c) Definitions.--For purposes of this section--
       ``(1) Handicapped individual.--The term `handicapped 
     individual' has the meaning given such term by section 
     190(b)(3).
       ``(2) Impairment-related work expenses.--The term 
     `impairment-related work expenses' means expenses--
       ``(A) of a handicapped individual for attendant care 
     services at the individual's place of employment and other 
     expenses in connection with such place of employment which 
     are necessary for such individual to be able to work, and
       ``(B) with respect to which a deduction is allowable under 
     section 162 (determined without regard to this section).
       ``(d) Special Rules.--
       ``(1) Denial of double benefit.--The amount of impairment-
     related work expenses which is allowable as a deduction under 
     section 162 (determined without regard to this paragraph) for 
     the taxable year shall be reduced by the amount of credit 
     allowed under this section for such year.
       ``(2) Election to have section not apply.--No credit shall 
     be allowed under subsection (a) for the taxable year if the 
     taxpayer elects to not have this section apply for such 
     year.''
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for such 
     subpart A is amended by inserting after the item relating to 
     section 25A the following new item:

``Sec. 25B. Impairment-related work expenses of handicapped 
              individuals.''
       (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section 
     shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 
     1997.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 450 the 
amendment printed in the bill, modified by the amendment printed in 
House Report 105-553, is adopted.
  The text of H.R. 3433, as amended pursuant to House Resolution 450, 
is as follows:

                               H.R. 3433

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

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Ticket to 
     Work and Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents is as 
     follows:


Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.
Sec. 2. The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program.
Sec. 3. Extending medicare coverage for OASDI disability benefit 
              recipients who are using tickets to work and self-
              sufficiency.
Sec. 4. Technical amendments relating to drug addicts and alcoholics.
Sec. 5. Extension of disability insurance program demonstration project 
              authority.
Sec. 6. Perfecting amendments related to withholding from social 
              security benefits.
Sec. 7. Treatment of prisoners.
Sec. 8. Revocation by members of the clergy of exemption from social 
              security coverage.
Sec. 9. Additional technical amendment relating to cooperative research 
              or demonstration projects under titles II and XVI.

[[Page H4012]]

     SEC. 2. THE TICKET TO WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM.

       (a) In General.--Part A of title XI of the Social Security 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end 
     the following new section:


           ``the ticket to work and self-sufficiency program

       ``Sec. 1147. (a) In General.--The Commissioner of Social 
     Security shall establish a Ticket to Work and Self-
     Sufficiency Program, under which a disabled beneficiary may 
     use a ticket to work and self-sufficiency issued by the 
     Commissioner in accordance with this section to obtain 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or 
     other support services from an employment network which is of 
     the beneficiary's choice and which is willing to provide such 
     services to such beneficiary.
       ``(b) Ticket System.--
       ``(1) Distribution of tickets.--The Commissioner of Social 
     Security may issue a ticket to work and self-sufficiency to 
     disabled beneficiaries for participation in the Program.
       ``(2) Assignment of tickets.--A disabled beneficiary 
     holding a ticket to work and self-sufficiency may assign the 
     ticket to any employment network of the beneficiary's choice 
     which is serving under the Program and is willing to accept 
     the assignment.
       ``(3) Ticket terms.--A ticket issued under paragraph (1) 
     shall consist of a document which evidences the 
     Commissioner's agreement to pay (as provided in paragraph 
     (4)) an employment network, which is serving under the 
     Program and to which such ticket is assigned by the 
     beneficiary, for such employment services, vocational 
     rehabilitation services, and other support services as the 
     employment network may provide to the beneficiary.
       ``(4) Payments to employment networks.--The Commissioner 
     shall pay an employment network under the Program in 
     accordance with the outcome payment system under subsection 
     (h)(2) or under the outcome-milestone payment system under 
     subsection (h)(3) (whichever is elected pursuant to 
     subsection (h)(1)). An employment network may not request or 
     receive compensation for such services from the beneficiary.
       ``(c) State Participation.--
       ``(1) Periodic elections.--Each State agency administering 
     or supervising the administration of the State plan approved 
     under title I of the Rehabilitation act of 1973 may elect to 
     participate in the Program (or to revoke any such election) 
     as an employment network. The Commissioner shall provide for 
     periodic opportunities for exercising such elections (and 
     revocations).
       ``(2) Treatment of state agencies.--Any such election (or 
     revocation) by a State agency described in paragraph (1) 
     taking effect during any period for which an individual 
     residing in the State is a disabled beneficiary and a client 
     of the State agency shall not be effective with respect to 
     such individual to the extent that such election (or 
     revocation) would result in any change in the method of 
     payment to the State agency with respect to the individual 
     from the method of payment to the State agency with respect 
     to the individual in effect immediately before such election 
     (or revocation).
       ``(3) Effect of participation by state agency.--
       ``(A) State agencies participating.--In any case in which a 
     State agency described in paragraph (1) elects under 
     paragraph (1) to participate in the Program--
       ``(i) the employment services, vocational rehabilitation 
     services, and other support services which, upon assignment 
     of tickets to work and self-sufficiency, are provided to 
     disabled beneficiaries by the State agency acting as an 
     employment network shall be governed by plans for vocational 
     rehabilitation services approved under title I of the 
     Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and
       ``(ii) the provisions of section 222(d) and the provisions 
     of subsections (d) and (e) of section 1615 shall not apply 
     with respect to such State.
       ``(B) State agencies administering maternal and child 
     health services programs.--Subparagraph (A) shall not apply 
     with respect to any State agency administering a program 
     under title V of this Act.
       ``(4) Special requirements applicable to cross-referral to 
     certain state agencies.--
       ``(A) In general.--In any case in which an employment 
     network has been assigned a ticket to work and self-
     sufficiency by a disabled beneficiary, no State agency shall 
     be deemed required, under this section, title I of the 
     Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or a State plan approved under 
     such title, to accept any referral of such disabled 
     beneficiary from such employment network unless such 
     employment network and such State agency have entered into a 
     written agreement that meets the requirements of subparagraph 
     (B).
       ``(B) Terms of agreement.--An agreement required by 
     subparagraph (A) shall specify, in accordance with 
     regulations prescribed pursuant to subparagraph (C)--
       ``(i) the extent (if any) to which the employment network 
     holding the ticket will provide to the State agency--

       ``(I) reimbursement for costs incurred in providing 
     services described in subparagraph (A) to the disabled 
     beneficiary, and
       ``(II) other amounts from payments made by the Commissioner 
     to the employment network pursuant to subsection (h), and

       ``(ii) any other conditions that may be required by such 
     regulations.
       ``(C) Regulations.--The Commissioner of Social Security and 
     the Secretary of Education shall jointly prescribe 
     regulations specifying the terms of agreements required by 
     subparagraph (A) and otherwise necessary to carry out the 
     provisions of this paragraph.
       ``(D) Penalty.--No payment may be made to an employment 
     network pursuant to subsection (h) in connection with 
     services provided to any disabled beneficiary if such 
     employment network makes referrals described in subparagraph 
     (A) in violation of the terms of the contract required under 
     subparagraph (A) or without having entered into such a 
     contract.
       ``(d) Responsibilities of the Commissioner of Social 
     Security.--
       ``(1) Selection and qualifications of program managers.--
     The Commissioner of Social Security shall enter into 
     agreements with one or more organizations in the private or 
     public sector for service as a program manager to assist the 
     Commissioner in administering the Program. Any such program 
     manager shall be selected by means of a competitive bidding 
     process, from among organizations in the private or public 
     sector with available expertise and experience in the field 
     of vocational rehabilitation or employment services.
       ``(2) Tenure, renewal, and early termination.--Each 
     agreement entered into under paragraph (1) shall provide for 
     early termination upon failure to meet performance standards 
     which shall be specified in the agreement and which shall be 
     weighted to take into account any performance in prior terms. 
     Such performance standards shall include (but are not limited 
     to)--
       ``(A) measures for ease of access by beneficiaries to 
     services, and
       ``(B) measures for determining the extent to which failures 
     in obtaining services for beneficiaries fall within 
     acceptable parameters, as determined by the Commissioner.
       ``(3) Preclusion from direct participation in delivery of 
     services in own service area.--Agreements under paragraph (1) 
     shall preclude--
       ``(A) direct participation by a program manager in the 
     delivery of employment services, vocational rehabilitation 
     services, or other support services to beneficiaries in the 
     service area covered by the program manager's agreement, and
       ``(B) the holding by a program manager of a financial 
     interest in an employment network or service provider which 
     provides services in a geographic area covered under the 
     program manager's agreement.
       ``(4) Selection of employment networks.--The Commissioner 
     shall select and enter into agreements with employment 
     networks for service under the Program. Such employment 
     networks shall be in addition to State agencies serving as 
     employment networks pursuant to elections under subsection 
     (c).
       ``(5) Termination of agreements with employment networks.--
     The Commissioner shall terminate agreements with employment 
     networks for inadequate performance, as determined by the 
     Commissioner.
       ``(6) Quality assurance.--The Commissioner shall provide 
     for such periodic reviews as are necessary to provide for 
     effective quality assurance in the provision of services by 
     employment networks. The Commissioner shall take into account 
     the views of consumers and the program manager under which 
     the employment networks serve and shall consult with 
     providers of services to develop performance measurements. 
     The Commissioner shall ensure that the results of the 
     periodic reviews are made available to beneficiaries who are 
     prospective service recipients as they select employment 
     networks. The Commissioner shall ensure the performance of 
     periodic surveys of beneficiaries receiving services under 
     the Program designed to measure customer service 
     satisfaction.
       ``(7) Dispute resolution.--The Commissioner shall provide 
     for a mechanism for resolving disputes between beneficiaries 
     and employment networks and between program managers and 
     employment networks. The Commissioner shall afford a party to 
     such a dispute a reasonable opportunity for a full and fair 
     review of the matter in dispute.
       ``(e) Program Managers.--
       ``(1) In general.--A program manager shall conduct tasks 
     appropriate to assist the Commissioner in carrying out the 
     Commissioner's duties in administering the Program.
       ``(2) Recruitment of employment networks.--A program 
     manager shall recruit, and recommend for selection by the 
     Commissioner, employment networks for service under the 
     Program. The program manager shall carry out such recruitment 
     and provide such recommendations, and shall monitor all 
     employment networks serving in the Program in the geographic 
     area covered under the program manager's agreement, to the 
     extent necessary and appropriate to ensure that adequate 
     choices of services are made available to beneficiaries. 
     Employment networks may serve under the Program only pursuant 
     to an agreement entered into with the Commissioner under the 
     Program incorporating the applicable provisions of this 
     section and regulations thereunder, and the program manager 
     shall provide and maintain assurances to the Commissioner 
     that payment by the Commissioner to employment networks 
     pursuant to this section is warranted based on compliance by 
     such employment networks with the terms of such agreement and 
     this section. The program manager shall not impose numerical 
     limits on the number of employment networks to be recommended 
     pursuant to this paragraph.
       ``(3) Facilitation of access by beneficiaries to employment 
     networks.--A program manager shall facilitate access by 
     beneficiaries to employment networks. The program manager 
     shall ensure that each beneficiary is allowed changes in 
     employment networks for good cause, as determined by the 
     Commissioner, without being deemed to have rejected services 
     under the Program. The program manager shall establish and 
     maintain lists of employment networks available to 
     beneficiaries and shall make such lists generally available 
     to the public. The program manager shall ensure that all 
     information provided to disabled beneficiaries pursuant to 
     this paragraph is provided in accessible format.
       ``(4) Ensuring availability of adequate services.--The 
     program manager shall ensure

[[Page H4013]]

     that employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, 
     and other support services are provided to beneficiaries 
     throughout the geographic area covered under the program 
     manager's agreement, including rural areas.
       ``(5) Reasonable access to services.--The program manager 
     shall take such measures as are necessary to ensure that 
     sufficient employment networks are available and that each 
     beneficiary receiving services under the Program has 
     reasonable access to employment services, vocational 
     rehabilitation services, and other support services. Such 
     services may include case management, benefits counseling, 
     supported employment, career planning, career plan 
     development, vocational assessment, job training, placement, 
     follow-up services, and such other services as may be 
     specified by the Commissioner under the Program. The program 
     manager shall ensure that such services are coordinated.
       ``(f) Employment Networks.--
       ``(1) Qualifications for employment networks.--Each 
     employment network serving under the Program shall consist of 
     an agency or instrumentality of a State (or a political 
     subdivision thereof) or a private entity, which assumes 
     responsibility for the coordination and delivery of services 
     under the Program to individuals assigning to the employment 
     network tickets to work and self-sufficiency issued under 
     subsection (b). No employment network may serve under the 
     Program unless it demonstrates to the Commissioner 
     substantial expertise and experience in the field of 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or 
     other support services for individuals with disabilities and 
     provides an array of such services. An employment network 
     shall consist of either a single provider of such services or 
     of an association of such providers organized so as to 
     combine their resources into a single entity. An employment 
     network may meet the requirements of subsection (e)(4) by 
     providing services directly, or by entering into agreements 
     with other individuals or entities providing appropriate 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or 
     other support services.
       ``(2) Requirements relating to provision of services.--Each 
     employment network serving under the Program shall be 
     required under the terms of its agreement with the 
     Commissioner to--
       ``(A) serve prescribed service areas,
       ``(B) meet, and maintain compliance with, both general 
     selection criteria (such as professional and governmental 
     certification and educational credentials) and specific 
     selection criteria (such as the extent of work experience by 
     the provider with specific populations), and
       ``(C) take such measures as are necessary to ensure that 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and 
     other support services provided under the Program by, or 
     under agreements entered into with, the employment network 
     are provided under appropriate individual work plans meeting 
     the requirements of subsection (g).
       ``(3) Annual financial reporting.--Each employment network 
     shall meet financial reporting requirements as prescribed by 
     the Commissioner.
       ``(4) Periodic outcomes reporting.--Each employment network 
     shall prepare periodic reports, on at least an annual basis, 
     itemizing for the covered period specific outcomes achieved 
     with respect to specific services provided by the employment 
     network. Such reports shall conform to a national model 
     prescribed under this section. Each employment network shall 
     provide a copy of the latest report issued by the employment 
     network pursuant to this paragraph to each beneficiary upon 
     enrollment under the Program for services to be received 
     through such employment network. Upon issuance of each report 
     to each beneficiary, a copy of the report shall be maintained 
     in the files of the employment network pertaining to the 
     beneficiary. The program manager shall ensure that copies of 
     all such reports issued under this paragraph are made 
     available to the public under reasonable terms.
       ``(g) Individual Work Plans.--
       ``(1) In general.--Each employment network shall--
       ``(A) take such measures as are necessary to ensure that 
     employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and 
     other support services provided under the Program by, or 
     under agreements entered into with, the employment network 
     are provided under appropriate individual work plans as 
     defined by the Commissioner, and
       ``(B) develop and implement each such individual work plan, 
     in the case of each beneficiary receiving such services, in a 
     manner that affords such beneficiary the opportunity to 
     exercise informed choice in selecting an employment goal and 
     specific services needed to achieve that employment goal.

     A beneficiary's individual work plan shall take effect upon 
     approval by the beneficiary.
       ``(2) Vocational evaluation.--In devising the work plan, 
     the employment network shall undertake a vocational 
     evaluation with respect to the beneficiary. Each vocational 
     evaluation shall set forth in writing such elements and shall 
     be in such format as the Commissioner shall prescribe. The 
     Commissioner may provide for waiver by the beneficiary of 
     such a vocational evaluation, subject to regulations which 
     shall be prescribed by the Commissioner providing for the 
     permissible timing of, and the circumstances permitting, such 
     a waiver.
       ``(h) Employment Network Payment Systems.--
       ``(1) Election of payment system by employment networks.--
       ``(A) In general.--The Program shall provide for payment 
     authorized by the Commissioner to employment networks under 
     either an outcome payment system or an outcome-milestone 
     payment system. Each employment network shall elect which 
     payment system will be utilized by the employment network, 
     and, for such period of time as such election remains in 
     effect, the payment system so elected shall be utilized 
     exclusively in connection with such employment network 
     (except as provided in subparagraph (B)).
       ``(B) Method of payment to employment networks.--Any such 
     election by an employment network taking effect during any 
     period for which a disabled beneficiary is receiving services 
     from such employment network shall not be effective with 
     respect to such beneficiary to the extent that such election 
     would result in any change in the method of payment to the 
     employment network with respect to services provided to such 
     beneficiary from the method of payment to the employment 
     network with respect to services provided to such beneficiary 
     as of immediately before such election.
       ``(2) Outcome payment system.--
       ``(A) In general.--The outcome payment system shall consist 
     of a payment structure governing employment networks electing 
     such system under paragraph (1)(A) which meets the 
     requirements of this paragraph.
       ``(B) Payments made during outcome payment period.--The 
     outcome payment system shall provide for a schedule of 
     payments to an employment network, in connection with each 
     individual who is a beneficiary, for each month, during the 
     individual's outcome payment period, for which benefits 
     (described in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (k)) are 
     not payable to such individual.
       ``(C) Computation of payments to employment network.--The 
     payment schedule of the outcome payment system shall be 
     designed so that--
       ``(i) the payment for each of the 60 months during the 
     outcome payment period for which benefits (described in 
     paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (k)) are not payable is 
     equal to a fixed percentage of the payment calculation base 
     for the calendar year in which such month occurs, and
       ``(ii) such fixed percentage is set at a percentage which 
     does not exceed 40 percent.
       ``(3) Outcome-milestone payment system.--
       ``(A) In general.--The outcome-milestone payment system 
     shall consist of a payment structure governing employment 
     networks electing such system under paragraph (1)(A) which 
     meets the requirements of this paragraph.
       ``(B) Early payments upon attainment of milestones in 
     advance of outcome payment periods.--The outcome-milestone 
     payment system shall provide for one or more milestones, with 
     respect to beneficiaries receiving services from an 
     employment network under the Program, which are directed 
     toward the goal of permanent employment. Such milestones 
     shall form a part of a payment structure which provides, in 
     addition to payments made during outcome payment periods, 
     payments made prior to outcome payment periods in amounts 
     based on the attainment of such milestones.
       ``(C) Limitation on total payments to employment network.--
     The payment schedule of the outcome milestone payment system 
     shall be designed so that the total of the payments to the 
     employment network with respect to each beneficiary is less 
     than, on a net present value basis (using an interest rate 
     determined by the Commissioner that appropriately reflects 
     the cost of funds faced by providers), the total amount to 
     which payments to the employment network with respect to the 
     beneficiary would be limited if the employment network were 
     paid under the outcome payment system.
       ``(4) Definitions.--For purposes of this subsection--
       ``(A) Payment calculation base.--The term `payment 
     calculation base' means, for any calendar year--
       ``(i) in connection with a title II disability beneficiary, 
     the average disability insurance benefit payable under 
     section 223 for all beneficiaries for months during the 
     preceding calendar year, and
       ``(ii) in connection with a title XVI disability 
     beneficiary (who is not concurrently a title II disability 
     beneficiary), the average payment of supplemental security 
     income benefits based on disability payable under title XVI 
     (excluding State supplementation) for months during the 
     preceding calendar year to all beneficiaries who have 
     attained at least 18 years of age.
       ``(B) Outcome payment period.--The term `outcome payment 
     period' means, in connection with any individual who had 
     assigned a ticket to work and self-sufficiency to an 
     employment network under the Program, a period--
       ``(i) beginning with the first month, ending after the date 
     on which such ticket was assigned to the employment network, 
     for which benefits (described in paragraphs (2) and (3) of 
     subsection (k)) are not payable to such individual by reason 
     of engagement in work activity, and
       ``(ii) ending with the 60th month (consecutive or 
     otherwise), ending after such date, for which such benefits 
     are not payable to such individual by reason of engagement in 
     work activity.
       ``(5) Periodic review and alterations of prescribed 
     schedules.--
       ``(A) Percentages and periods.--The Commissioner of Social 
     Security shall periodically review the percentage specified 
     in paragraph (2)(C), the total payments permissible under 
     paragraph (3)(C), and the period of time specified in 
     paragraph (4)(B) to determine whether such percentages, such 
     permissible payments, and such period provide an adequate 
     incentive for employment networks to assist beneficiaries to 
     enter the workforce, while providing for appropriate 
     economies. The Commissioner may alter such percentage, such 
     total permissible payments, or such period of time to the 
     extent that the Commissioner determines, on the basis of the 
     Commissioner's review under this paragraph, that such an 
     alteration would better provide the incentive and economies 
     described in the preceding sentence.

[[Page H4014]]

       ``(B) Number and amount of milestone payments.--The 
     Commissioner shall periodically review the number and amounts 
     of milestone payments established by the Commissioner 
     pursuant to this section to determine whether they provide an 
     adequate incentive for employment networks to assist 
     beneficiaries to enter the workforce, taking into account 
     information provided to the Commissioner by program managers, 
     the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Advisory Panel, and 
     other reliable sources. The Commissioner may from time to 
     time alter the number and amounts of milestone payments 
     initially established by the Commissioner pursuant to this 
     section to the extent that the Commissioner determines that 
     such an alteration would allow an adequate incentive for 
     employment networks to assist beneficiaries to enter the 
     workforce. Such alteration shall be based on information 
     provided to the Commissioner by program managers, the Ticket 
     to Work and Self-Sufficiency Advisory Panel, or other 
     reliable sources.
       ``(i) Suspension of Disability Reviews.--During any period 
     for which an individual is using a ticket to work and self-
     sufficiency issued under this section, the Commissioner (and 
     any applicable State agency) may not initiate a continuing 
     disability review or other review under section 221 of 
     whether the individual is or is not under a disability or a 
     review under title XVI similar to any such review under 
     section 221.
       ``(j) Authorizations.--
       ``(1) Title ii disability beneficiaries.--There are 
     authorized to be transferred from the Federal Old-Age and 
     Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability 
     Insurance Trust Fund each fiscal year such sums as may be 
     necessary to carry out the provisions of this section with 
     respect to title II disability beneficiaries. Money paid from 
     the Trust Funds under this section with respect to title II 
     disability beneficiaries who are entitled to benefits under 
     section 223 or who are entitled to benefits under section 
     202(d) on the basis of the wages and self-employment income 
     of such beneficiaries, shall be charged to the Federal 
     Disability Insurance Trust Fund, and all other money paid 
     from the Trust Funds under this section shall be charged to 
     the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund. The 
     Commissioner of Social Security shall determine according to 
     such methods and procedures as shall be prescribed under this 
     section--
       ``(A) the total amount to be paid to program managers and 
     employment networks under this section, and
       ``(B) subject to the provisions of the preceding sentence, 
     the amount which should be charged to each of the Trust 
     Funds.
       ``(2) Title xvi disability beneficiaries.--Amounts 
     authorized to be appropriated to the Social Security 
     Administration under section 1601 (as in effect pursuant to 
     the amendments made by section 301 of the Social Security 
     Amendments of 1972) shall include amounts necessary to carry 
     out the provisions of this section with respect to title XVI 
     disability beneficiaries.
       ``(k) Definitions.--For purposes of this section--
       ``(1) Disabled beneficiary.--The term `disabled 
     beneficiary' means a title II disability beneficiary or a 
     title XVI disability beneficiary.
       ``(2) Title ii disability beneficiary.--The term `title II 
     disability beneficiary' means an individual entitled to 
     disability insurance benefits under section 223 or to monthly 
     insurance benefits under section 202 based on such 
     individual's disability (as defined in section 223(d)). An 
     individual is a title II disability beneficiary for each 
     month for which such individual is entitled to such benefits.
       ``(3) Title xvi disability beneficiary.--The term `title 
     XVI disability beneficiary' means an individual eligible for 
     supplemental security income benefits under title XVI on the 
     basis of blindness (within the meaning of section 1614(a)(2)) 
     or disability (within the meaning of section 1614(a)(3)). An 
     individual is a title XVI disability beneficiary for each 
     month for which such individual is eligible for such 
     benefits.
       ``(4) Supplemental security income benefit.--The term 
     `supplemental security income benefit under title XVI' means 
     a cash benefit under section 1611 or 1619(a), and does not 
     include a State supplementary payment, administered federally 
     or otherwise.
       ``(l) Regulations.--The Commissioner of Social Security 
     shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry 
     out the provisions of this section.''.
       (b) Conforming Amendments.--
       (1) Amendments to title ii.--
       (A) Section 221(c) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 421(c)) is 
     amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(4) For suspension of reviews under this subsection in 
     the case of an individual using a ticket to work and self-
     sufficiency, see section 1147(i).''.
       (B) Section 222(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 422(a)) is 
     repealed.
       (C) Section 222(b) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 422(b)) is 
     repealed.
       (D) Section 225(b)(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 425(b)(1)) is 
     amended by striking ``a program of vocational rehabilitation 
     services'' and inserting ``a program consisting of the Ticket 
     to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program under section 1147 or 
     another program of vocational rehabilitation services, 
     employment services, or other support services''.
       (2) Amendments to title xvi.--
       (A) Section 1615(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1382d(a)) is 
     amended to read as follows:
       ``Sec. 1615. (a) In the case of any blind or disabled 
     individual who--
       ``(1) has not attained age 16, and
       ``(2) with respect to whom benefits are paid under this 
     title,

     the Commissioner of Social Security shall make provision for 
     referral of such individual to the appropriate State agency 
     administering the State program under title V.''.
       (B) Section 1615(c) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1382d(c)) is 
     repealed.
       (C) Section 1631(a)(6)(A) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 
     1383(a)(6)(A)) is amended by striking ``a program of 
     vocational rehabilitation services'' and inserting ``a 
     program consisting of the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency 
     Program under section 1147 or another program of vocational 
     rehabilitation services, employment services, or other 
     support services''.
       (D) Section 1633(c) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1383b(c)) is 
     amended--
       (i) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(c)''; and
       (ii) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(2) For suspension of continuing disability reviews and 
     other reviews under this title similar to reviews under 
     section 221 in the case of an individual using a ticket to 
     work and self-sufficiency, see section 1147(i).''.
       (c) Effective Date.--Subject to subsection (d), the 
     amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) shall take effect 
     with the first month following one year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act.
       (d) Graduated Implementation of Program.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than one year after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Commissioner of Social 
     Security shall commence implementation of the amendments made 
     by this section (other than paragraphs (1)(C) and (2)(B) of 
     subsection (b)) in graduated phases at phase-in sites 
     selected by the Commissioner. Such phase-in sites shall be 
     selected so as to ensure, prior to full implementation of the 
     Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program, the development 
     and refinement of referral processes, payment systems, 
     computer linkages, management information systems, and 
     administrative processes necessary to provide for full 
     implementation of such amendments. Subsection (c) shall apply 
     with respect to paragraphs (1)(C) and (2)(B) of subsection 
     (b) without regard to this subsection.
       (2) Requirements.--Implementation of the Program at each 
     phase-in site shall be carried out on a wide enough scale to 
     permit a thorough evaluation of the alternative methods under 
     consideration, so as to ensure that the most efficacious 
     methods are determined and in place for full implementation 
     of the Program on a timely basis.
       (3) Full implementation.--The Commissioner shall ensure 
     that the Program is fully implemented as soon as practicable 
     on or after the effective date specified in subsection (c) 
     but not later than six years after such date.
       (4) Ongoing evaluation of program.--
       (A) In general.--The Commissioner shall design and conduct 
     a series of evaluations to assess the cost-effectiveness of 
     activities carried out under this section and the amendments 
     made thereby, as well as the effects of this section and the 
     amendments made thereby on work outcomes for beneficiaries 
     receiving tickets to work and self-sufficiency under the 
     Program.
       (B) Methodology.--
       (i) Design and implementation.--The Commissioner shall 
     design the series of evaluations after receiving relevant 
     advice from experts in the fields of disability, vocational 
     rehabilitation, and program evaluation and individuals using 
     tickets to work and self-sufficiency under the Program. In 
     designing and carrying out such evaluations, the Commissioner 
     shall consult with the Comptroller General of the United 
     States and other agencies of the Federal Government and with 
     private organizations with appropriate expertise. Before 
     provision of services begins under any phase of Program 
     implementation, the Commissioner shall ensure that plans for 
     such evaluations and data collection methods are in place and 
     ready for implementation.
       (ii) Specific matters to be addressed.--Each such 
     evaluation shall address (but is not limited to):

       (I) the annual cost (including net cost) of the Program and 
     the annual cost (including net cost) that would have been 
     incurred in the absence of the Program;
       (II) the determinants of return to work, including the 
     characteristics of beneficiaries in receipt of tickets under 
     the Program;
       (III) the types of employment services, vocational 
     rehabilitation services, and other support services furnished 
     to beneficiaries in receipt of tickets under the Program who 
     return to work and to those who do not return to work;
       (IV) the duration of employment services, vocational 
     rehabilitation services, and other support services furnished 
     to beneficiaries in receipt of tickets under the Program who 
     return to work and the duration of such services furnished to 
     those who do not return to work and the cost to employment 
     networks of furnishing such services;
       (V) the employment outcomes, including wages, occupations, 
     benefits, and hours worked, of beneficiaries who return to 
     work after receiving tickets under the Program and those who 
     return to work without receiving such tickets;
       (VI) the characteristics of providers whose services are 
     provided within an employment network under the Program;
       (VII) the extent (if any) to which employment networks 
     display a greater willingness to provide services to disabled 
     beneficiaries;
       (VIII) the characteristics (including employment outcomes) 
     of those beneficiaries who receive services under the outcome 
     payment system and of those beneficiaries who receive 
     services under the outcome-milestone payment system;
       (IX) measures of satisfaction among beneficiaries in 
     receipt of tickets under the Program; and
       (X) reasons for (including comments solicited from 
     beneficiaries regarding) their choice not to

[[Page H4015]]

     use their tickets or their inability to return to work 
     despite the use of thier tickets.

       (C) Periodic evaluation reports.--Following the close of 
     the third and fifth fiscal years ending after the effective 
     date under subsection (c), and prior to the close of the 
     seventh fiscal year ending after such date, the Commissioner 
     shall transmit to the Committee on Ways and Means of the 
     House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the 
     Senate a report containing the Commissioner's evaluation of 
     the progress of activities conducted under the provisions of 
     this section and the amendments made thereby. Each such 
     report shall set forth the Commissioner's evaluation of the 
     extent to which the Program has been successful and the 
     Commissioner's conclusions on whether or how the Program 
     should be modified. Each such report shall include such data, 
     findings, materials, and recommendations as the Commissioner 
     may consider appropriate.
       (5) Extent of state's right of first refusal in advance of 
     full implementation of amendments in such state.--
       (A) In general.--In the case of any State in which the 
     amendments made by subsection (a) have not been fully 
     implemented pursuant to this subsection, the Commissioner 
     shall determine by regulation the extent to which--
       (i) the requirement under section 222(a) of the Social 
     Security Act for prompt referrals to a State agency, and
       (ii) the authority of the Commissioner under section 
     222(d)(2) of such Act to provide vocational rehabilitation 
     services in such State by agreement or contract with other 
     public or private agencies, organizations, institutions, or 
     individuals,
     shall apply in such State.
       (B) Existing agreements.--Nothing in subparagraph (A) or 
     the amendments made by subsection (a) shall be construed to 
     limit, impede, or otherwise affect any agreement entered into 
     pursuant to section 222(d)(2) of the Social Security Act 
     before the date of the enactment of this Act with respect to 
     services provided pursuant to such agreement to beneficiaries 
     receiving services under such agreement as of such date, 
     except with respect to services (if any) to be provided after 
     six years after the effective date provided in subsection 
     (c).
       (e) The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Advisory 
     Panel.--
       (1) Establishment.--There is established in the executive 
     branch a panel to be known as the ``Ticket to Work and Self-
     Sufficiency Advisory Panel'' (in this subsection referred to 
     as the ``Panel'').
       (2) Duties of panel.--It shall be the duty of the Panel 
     to--
       (A) advise the Commissioner of Social Security on 
     establishing phase-in sites for the Ticket to Work and Self-
     Sufficiency Program and on fully implementing the Program 
     thereafter,
       (B) advise the Commissioner with respect to the refinement 
     of access of disabled beneficiaries to employment networks, 
     payment systems, and management information systems and 
     advise the Commissioner whether such measures are being taken 
     to the extent necessary to ensure the success of the Program,
       (C) advise the Commissioner regarding the most effective 
     designs for research and demonstration projects associated 
     with the Program or conducted pursuant to subsection (h),
       (D) advise the Commissioner on the development of 
     performance measurements relating to quality assurance under 
     section 1147(d)(6) of the Social Security Act, and
       (E) furnish progress reports on the Program to the 
     President and each House of the Congress.
       (3) Membership.--
       (A) Number and appointment.--The Panel shall be composed of 
     6 members as follows:
       (i) 1 member appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on 
     Ways and Means of the House of Representatives;
       (ii) 1 member appointed by the ranking minority member of 
     the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of 
     Representatives;
       (iii) 1 member appointed by the Chairman of the Committee 
     on Finance of the Senate;
       (iv) 1 member appointed by the ranking minority member of 
     the Committee on Finance of the Senate; and
       (v) 2 members appointed by the President, who may not be of 
     the same political party.
       (B) Representation.--Of the members appointed under 
     subparagraph (A), at least 4 shall have experience or expert 
     knowledge as a recipient, provider, employer, or employee in 
     the fields of, or related to, employment services, vocational 
     rehabilitation services, and other support services, of 
     whom--
       (i) at least one shall represent the interests of 
     recipients of employment services, vocational rehabilitation 
     services, and other support services,
       (ii) at least one shall represent the interests of 
     providers of employment services, vocational rehabilitation 
     services, and other support services,
       (iii) at least one shall represent the interests of private 
     employers,
       (iv) at least one shall represent the interests of 
     employees, and
       (v) at least one shall be an individual who is or has been 
     a recipient of benefits under title II or title XVI based on 
     disability.
       (C) Terms.--
       (i) In general.--Each member shall be appointed for a term 
     of 4 years (or, if less, for the remaining life of the 
     Panel), except as provided in clauses (ii) and (iii). The 
     initial members shall be appointed not later than 90 days 
     after the date of the enactment of this Act.
       (ii) Terms of initial appointees.--As designated by the 
     President at the time of appointment, of the members first 
     appointed--

       (I) 3 of the members appointed under subparagraph (A) shall 
     be appointed for a term of 2 years, and
       (II) 3 of the members appointed under subparagraph (A) 
     shall be appointed for a term of 4 years.

       (iii) Vacancies.--Any member appointed to fill a vacancy 
     occurring before the expiration of the term for which the 
     member's predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only 
     for the remainder of that term. A member may serve after the 
     expiration of that member's term until a successor has taken 
     office. A vacancy in the Panel shall be filled in the manner 
     in which the original appointment was made.
       (D) Basic pay.--Members shall each be paid at a rate equal 
     to the daily equivalent of the rate of basic pay for level 4 
     of the Senior Executive Service, as in effect from time to 
     time under section 5382 of title 5, United States Code, for 
     each day (including travel time) during which they are 
     engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the 
     Panel.
       (E) Travel expenses.--Each member shall receive travel 
     expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in 
     accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United 
     States Code.
       (F) Quorum.--4 members of the Panel shall constitute a 
     quorum but a lesser number may hold hearings.
       (G) Chairperson.--The Chairperson of the Panel shall be 
     designated by the President. The term of office of the 
     Chairperson shall be 4 years.
       (H) Meetings.--The Panel shall meet at least quarterly and 
     at other times at the call of the Chairperson or a majority 
     of its members.
       (4) Director and staff of panel; experts and consultants.--
       (A) Director.--The Panel shall have a Director who shall be 
     appointed by the Panel. The Director shall be paid at a rate 
     not to exceed the maximum rate of pay payable for GS-15 of 
     the General Schedule.
       (B) Staff.--Subject to rules prescribed by the Panel, the 
     Director may appoint and fix the pay of additional personnel 
     as the Director considers appropriate.
       (C) Experts and consultants.--Subject to rules prescribed 
     by the Panel, the Director may procure temporary and 
     intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, 
     United States Code.
       (D) Staff of federal agencies.--Upon request of the Panel, 
     the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a 
     reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that department 
     or agency to the Panel to assist it in carrying out its 
     duties under this Act.
       (5) Powers of panel.--
       (A) Hearings and sessions.--The Panel may, for the purpose 
     of carrying out its duties under this subsection, hold such 
     hearings, sit and act at such times and places, and take such 
     testimony and evidence as the Panel considers appropriate.
       (B) Powers of members and agents.--Any member or agent of 
     the Panel may, if authorized by the Panel, take any action 
     which the Panel is authorized to take by this section.
       (C) Mails.--The Panel may use the United States mails in 
     the same manner and under the same conditions as other 
     departments and agencies of the United States.
       (D) Administrative support services.--Upon the request of 
     the Panel, the Administrator of General Services shall 
     provide to the Panel, on a reimbursable basis, the 
     administrative support services necessary for the Panel to 
     carry out its duties under this subsection.
       (6) Reports.--
       (A) Interim reports.--The Panel shall submit to the 
     President and the Congress interim reports at least annually.
       (B) Final report.--The Panel shall transmit a final report 
     to the President and the Congress not later than eight years 
     after the date of the enactment of this Act. The final report 
     shall contain a detailed statement of the findings and 
     conclusions of the Panel, together with its recommendations 
     for legislation and administrative actions which the Panel 
     considers appropriate.
       (7) Termination.--The Panel shall terminate 30 days after 
     the date of the submission of its final report under 
     paragraph (6)(B).
       (8) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated from the Federal Old-Age and Survivors 
     Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust 
     Fund, and the general fund of the Treasury, as appropriate, 
     such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection.
       (f) Specific Regulations Required.--
       (1) In general.--The Commissioner of Social Security shall 
     prescribe such regulations as are necessary to implement the 
     amendments made by this section.
       (2) Specific matters to be included in regulations.--The 
     matters which shall be addressed in such regulations shall 
     include (but are not limited to)--
       (A) the form and manner in which tickets to work and self-
     sufficiency may be distributed to beneficiaries pursuant to 
     section 1147(b)(1) of such Act;
       (B) the format and wording of such tickets, which shall 
     incorporate by reference any contractual terms governing 
     service by employment networks under the Program;
       (C) the form and manner in which State agencies may elect 
     participation in the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency 
     Program (and revoke such an election) pursuant to section 
     1147(c)(1) of such Act and provision for periodic 
     opportunities for exercising such elections (and 
     revocations);
       (D) the status of State agencies under section 1147(c)(2) 
     at the time that State agencies exercise elections (and 
     revocations) under such section 1147(c)(1);
       (E) the terms of agreements to be entered into with program 
     managers pursuant to section 1147(d) of such Act, including 
     (but not limited to)--
       (i) the terms by which program managers are precluded from 
     direct participation in the delivery of services pursuant to 
     section 1147(d)(3) of such Act,
       (ii) standards which must be met by quality assurance 
     measures referred to in paragraph (6)

[[Page H4016]]

     of section 1147(d) and methods of recruitment of employment 
     networks utilized pursuant to paragraph (2) of section 
     1147(e), and
       (iii) the format under which dispute resolution will 
     operate under section 1147(d)(7).
       (F) the terms of agreements to be entered into with 
     employment networks pursuant to section 1147(d)(4) of such 
     Act, including (but not limited to)--
       (i) the manner in which service areas are specified 
     pursuant to section 1147(f)(2)(A) of such Act,
       (ii) the general selection criteria and the specific 
     selection criteria which are applicable to employment 
     networks under section 1147(f)(2)(B) of such Act in selecting 
     service providers,
       (iii) specific requirements relating to annual financial 
     reporting by employment networks pursuant to section 
     1147(f)(3) of such Act, and
       (iv) the national model to which periodic outcomes 
     reporting by employment networks must conform under section 
     1147(f)(4) of such Act;
       (G) standards which must be met by individual work plans 
     pursuant to section 1147(g) of such Act;
       (H) standards which must be met by payment systems required 
     under section 1147(h) of such Act, including (but not limited 
     to)--
       (i) the form and manner in which elections by employment 
     networks of payment systems are to be exercised pursuant to 
     section 1147(h)(1)(A),
       (ii) the terms which must be met by an outcome payment 
     system under section 1147(h)(2);
       (iii) the terms which must be met by an outcome-milestone 
     payment system under section 1147(h)(3);
       (iv) any revision of the percentage specified in paragraph 
     (2)(C) of section 1147(h) of such Act or the period of time 
     specified in paragraph (4)(B) of such section 1147(h); and
       (v) annual oversight procedures for such systems; and
       (I) procedures for effective oversight of the Program by 
     the Commissioner of Social Security, including periodic 
     reviews and reporting requirements.
       (g) Work Incentive Specialists.--The Commissioner shall 
     establish a corps of trained, accessible, and responsive work 
     incentive specialists to specialize in title II and title XVI 
     disability work incentives for the purpose of disseminating 
     accurate information to disabled beneficiaries (as defined in 
     section 1147(k)(1) of the Social Security Act as amended by 
     this Act) with respect to inquiries and issues relating to 
     work incentives.
       (h) Demonstration Projects Providing for Reductions in 
     Disability Insurance Benefits Based on Earnings. --
       (1) Authority.--The Commissioner shall conduct 
     demonstration projects for the purpose of evaluating, through 
     the collection of data, a program for title II disability 
     beneficiaries (as defined in section 1147(k)(2) of the Social 
     Security Act, as amended by this Act) under which each $1 of 
     benefits payable under section 223, or under section 202 
     based on the beneficiary's disability, is reduced for each $2 
     of such beneficiary's earnings that is above a level to be 
     determined by the Commissioner. Such projects shall be 
     conducted at a number of localities which the Commissioner 
     shall determine is sufficient to adequately evaluate the 
     appropriateness of national implementation of such a program. 
     Such projects shall identify reductions in Federal 
     expenditures that may result from the permanent 
     implementation of such a program.
       (2) Scope and scale and matters to be determined.--
       (A) In general.--The demonstration projects developed under 
     paragraph (1) shall be of sufficient duration, shall be of 
     sufficient scope, and shall be carried out on a wide enough 
     scale to permit a thorough evaluation of the project to 
     determine--
       (i) the effects, if any, of induced entry and reduced exit,
       (ii) the extent, if any, to which the project being tested 
     is affected by whether it is in operation in a locality 
     within an area under the administration of the Ticket to Work 
     and Self-Sufficiency Program, and
       (iii) the savings that accrue to the Trust Funds and other 
     Federal programs under the project being tested.

     The Commissioner shall take into account advice provided by 
     the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Advisory Panel 
     pursuant to subsection (e)(2)(C).
       (B) Additional matters.--The Commissioner shall also 
     determine with respect to each project--
       (i) the annual cost (including net cost) of the project and 
     the annual cost (including net cost) that would have been 
     incurred in the absence of the project,
       (ii) the determinants of return to work, including the 
     characteristics of the beneficiaries who participate in the 
     project, and
       (iii) the employment outcomes, including wages, 
     occupations, benefits, and hours worked, of beneficiaries who 
     return to work as a result of participation in the project.

     The Commissioner may include within the matters evaluated 
     under the project the merits of trial work periods and 
     periods of extended eligibility.
       (3) Waivers.--The Commissioner may waive compliance with 
     the benefit provisions of title II of the Social Security 
     Act, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services may waive 
     compliance with the benefit requirements of title XVIII of 
     such Act, in so far as is necessary for a thorough evaluation 
     of the alternative methods under consideration. No such 
     project shall be actually placed in operation unless at least 
     90 days prior thereto a written report, prepared for purposes 
     of notification and information only and containing a full 
     and complete description thereof, has been transmitted by the 
     Commissioner to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House 
     of Representatives and to the Committee on Finance of the 
     Senate. Periodic reports on the progress of such projects 
     shall be submitted by the Commissioner to such committees. 
     When appropriate, such reports shall include detailed 
     recommendations for changes in administration or law, or 
     both, to carry out the objectives stated in paragraph (1).
       (4) Interim reports.--On or before June 9 in 2000 and each 
     of the succeeding years thereafter, the Commissioner shall 
     submit to the Congress an interim report on the progress of 
     the demonstration projects carried out under this subsection 
     together with any related data and materials which the 
     Commissioner may consider appropriate.
       (5) Final report.--The Commissioner shall submit to the 
     Congress a final report with respect to all demonstration 
     projects carried out under this section no later than one 
     year after their completion.
       (6) Expenditures.--Expenditures made for demonstration 
     projects under this subsection shall be made from the Federal 
     Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Old-Age and 
     Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, as determined appropriate by 
     the Commissioner, and from the Federal Hospital Insurance 
     Trust Fund and the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance 
     Trust Fund, as determined appropriate by the Secretary of 
     Health and Human Services, to the extent provided in advance 
     in appropriation Acts.
       (i) Study by General Accounting Office of Existing 
     Disability-Related Employment Incentives.--
       (1) Study.--As soon as practicable after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall undertake a study to assess existing tax credits 
     and other disability-related employment incentives under the 
     Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other Federal 
     laws. In such study, the Comptroller General shall 
     specifically address the extent to which such credits and 
     other incentives would encourage employers to hire and retain 
     individuals with disabilities under the Ticket to Work and 
     Self-Sufficiency Program.
       (2) Report.--Not later than 3 years after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall transmit 
     to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of 
     Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate a 
     written report presenting the results of the Comptroller 
     General's study conducted pursuant to this subsection, 
     together with such recommendations for legislative or 
     administrative changes as the Comptroller General may 
     determine to be appropriate.
       (j) Study by General Accounting Office of Existing 
     Coordination of the DI and SSI Programs as They Relate to 
     Individuals Entering or Leaving Concurrent Entitlement.--
       (1) Study.--As soon as practicable after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall undertake a study to evaluate the coordination 
     under current law of the disability insurance program under 
     title II of the Social Security Act and the supplemental 
     security income program under title XVI of such Act, as such 
     programs relate to individuals entering or leaving concurrent 
     entitlement under such programs. In such study, the 
     Comptroller General shall specifically address the 
     effectiveness of work incentives under such programs with 
     respect to such individuals and the effectiveness of coverage 
     of such individuals under titles XVIII and XIX of such Act.
       (2) Report.--Not later than 18 months after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall transmit 
     to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of 
     Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate a 
     written report presenting the results of the Comptroller 
     General's study conducted pursuant to this subsection, 
     together with such recommendations for legislative or 
     administrative changes as the Comptroller General may 
     determine to be appropriate.

     SEC. 3. EXTENDING MEDICARE COVERAGE FOR OASDI DISABILITY 
                   BENEFIT RECIPIENTS WHO ARE USING TICKETS TO 
                   WORK AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY.

       (a) In General.--The next to last sentence of section 
     226(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 426) is 
     amended--
       (1) by striking ``throughout all of which'' and inserting 
     ``throughout the first 24 months of which'', and
       (2) by inserting after ``but not in excess of 24 such 
     months'' the following: ``(plus 24 additional such months in 
     the case of an individual who the Commissioner determines is 
     using a ticket to work and self-sufficiency issued under 
     section 1147, but only for additional months that occur in 
     the 7-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of 
     the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998)''.
       (b) Report.--Not later than 6 months prior to the end of 
     the 7-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the 
     Commissioner of Social Security shall submit in writing to 
     each House of the Congress their recommendations for further 
     legislative action with respect to the amendments made by 
     subsection (a), taking into account experience derived from 
     efforts to achieve full implementation of the Ticket to Work 
     and Self Sufficiency Program under section 1147 of the Social 
     Security Act.

     SEC. 4. TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS RELATING TO DRUG ADDICTS AND 
                   ALCOHOLICS.

       (a) Clarification Relating to the Effective Date of the 
     Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits to Drug Addicts 
     and Alcoholics.--Section 105(a)(5) of the Contract with 
     America Advancement Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121; 110 
     Stat. 853) is amended--
       (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``by the Commissioner 
     of Social Security'' and ``by the Commissioner''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:

[[Page H4017]]

       ``(D) For purposes of this paragraph, an individual's 
     claim, with respect to benefits under title II of the Social 
     Security Act based on disability, which has been denied in 
     whole before the date of the enactment of this Act, may not 
     be considered to be finally adjudicated before such date if, 
     on or after such date--
       ``(i) there is pending a request for either administrative 
     or judicial review with respect to such claim, or
       ``(ii) there is pending, with respect to such claim, a 
     readjudication by the Commissioner of Social Security 
     pursuant to relief in a class action or implementation by the 
     Commissioner of a court remand order.
       ``(E) Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, 
     with respect to any individual for whom the Commissioner of 
     Social Security does not perform the entitlement 
     redetermination before the date prescribed in subparagraph 
     (C), the Commissioner shall perform such entitlement 
     redetermination in lieu of a continuing disability review 
     whenever the Commissioner determines that the individual's 
     entitlement is subject to redetermination based on the 
     preceding provisions of this paragraph, and the provisions of 
     section 223(f) of the Social Security Act shall not apply to 
     such redetermination.''.
       (b) Correction to Effective Date of Provisions Concerning 
     Representative Payees and Treatment Referrals of Social 
     Security Beneficiaries Who Are Drug Addicts and Alcoholics.--
     Section 105(a)(5)(B) of such Act (Public Law 104-121; 110 
     Stat. 853) is amended to read as follows:
       ``(B) The amendments made by paragraphs (2) and (3) shall 
     take effect on July 1, 1996, with respect to any individual--
       ``(i) whose claim for benefits is finally adjudicated on or 
     after the date of the enactment of this Act, or
       ``(ii) whose entitlement to benefits is based upon an 
     entitlement redetermination made pursuant to subparagraph 
     (C).''.
       (c) Effective Dates.--The amendments made by this section 
     shall take effect as if included in the enactment of section 
     105 of the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996 
     (Public Law 104-121; 110 Stat. 852 et seq.).

     SEC. 5. EXTENSION OF DISABILITY INSURANCE PROGRAM 
                   DEMONSTRATION PROJECT AUTHORITY.

       (a) In General.--Section 505 of the Social Security 
     Disability Amendments of 1980 (Public Law 96-265; 94 Stat. 
     473), as amended by section 12101 of the Consolidated Omnibus 
     Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-272; 100 
     Stat. 282), section 10103 of the Omnibus Budget 
     Reconciliation Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-239; 103 Stat. 
     2472), section 5120(f) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation 
     Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-508; 104 Stat. 1388-282), and 
     section 315 of the Social Security Independence and Program 
     Improvements Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-296; 108 Stat. 
     1531), is further amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1) of subsection (a), by adding at the 
     end the following new sentence: ``The Commissioner may expand 
     the scope of any such demonstration project to include any 
     group of applicants for benefits under such program with 
     impairments which may reasonably be presumed to be disabling 
     for purposes of such demonstration project, and may limit any 
     such demonstration project to any such group of applicants, 
     subject to the terms of such demonstration project which 
     shall define the extent of any such presumption.'';
       (2) in paragraph (3) of subsection (a), by striking ``June 
     10, 1996'' and inserting ``June 10, 2001'';
       (3) in paragraph (4) of subsection (a), by inserting ``and 
     on or before October 1, 2000,'' after ``1995,''; and
       (4) in subsection (c), by striking ``October 1, 1996'' and 
     inserting ``October 1, 2001''.
       (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) 
     shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

     SEC. 6. PERFECTING AMENDMENTS RELATED TO WITHHOLDING FROM 
                   SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS.

       (a) Inapplicability of Assignment Prohibition.--Section 207 
     of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407) is amended by 
     adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to 
     prohibit withholding taxes from any benefit under this title, 
     if such withholding is done pursuant to a request made in 
     accordance with section 3402(p)(1) of the Internal Revenue 
     Code of 1986 by the person entitled to such benefit or such 
     person's representative payee.''.
       (b) Proper Allocation of Costs of Withholding Between the 
     Trust Funds and the General Fund.--Section 201(g) of such Act 
     (42 U.S.C. 401(g)) is amended--
       (1) by inserting before the period in paragraph (1)(A)(ii) 
     the following: ``and the functions of the Social Security 
     Administration in connection with the withholding of taxes 
     from benefits, as described in section 207(c), pursuant to 
     requests by persons entitled to such benefits or such 
     persons' representative payee'';
       (2) by inserting before the period at the end of paragraph 
     (1)(A) the following: ``and the functions of the Social 
     Security Administration in connection with the withholding of 
     taxes from benefits, as described in section 207(c), pursuant 
     to requests by persons entitled to such benefits or such 
     persons' representative payee'';
       (3) in paragraph (1)(B)(i)(I), by striking ``subparagraph 
     (A)),'' and inserting ``subparagraph (A)) and the functions 
     of the Social Security Administration in connection with the 
     withholding of taxes from benefits, as described in section 
     207(c), pursuant to requests by persons entitled to such 
     benefits or such persons' representative payee,'';
       (4) in paragraph (1)(C)(iii), by inserting before the 
     period the following: ``and the functions of the Social 
     Security Administration in connection with the withholding of 
     taxes from benefits, as described in section 207(c), pursuant 
     to requests by persons entitled to such benefits or such 
     persons' representative payee'';
       (5) in paragraph (1)(D), by inserting after ``section 232'' 
     the following: ``and the functions of the Social Security 
     Administration in connection with the withholding of taxes 
     from benefits as described in section 207(c)''; and
       (6) in paragraph (4), by inserting after the first sentence 
     the following: ``The Board of Trustees of such Trust Funds 
     shall prescribe the method of determining the costs which 
     should be borne by the general fund in the Treasury of 
     carrying out the functions of the Social Security 
     Administration in connection with the withholding of taxes 
     from benefits, as described in section 207(c), pursuant to 
     requests by persons entitled to such benefits or such 
     persons' representative payee.''.
       (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (b) 
     shall apply to benefits paid on or after the first day of the 
     second month beginning after the month in which this Act is 
     enacted.

     SEC. 7. TREATMENT OF PRISONERS.

       (a) Implementation of Prohibition Against Payment of Title 
     II Benefits to Prisoners.--
       (1) In general.--Section 202(x)(3) of the Social Security 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 402(x)(3)) is amended--
       (A) by inserting ``(A)'' after ``(3)''; and
       (B) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
       ``(B)(i) The Commissioner shall enter into an agreement 
     under this subparagraph with any interested State or local 
     institution comprising a jail, prison, penal institution, or 
     correctional facility, or comprising any other institution a 
     purpose of which is to confine individuals as described in 
     paragraph (1)(A)(ii). Under such agreement--
       ``(I) the institution shall provide to the Commissioner, on 
     a monthly basis and in a manner specified by the 
     Commissioner, the names, social security account numbers, 
     dates of birth, confinement commencement dates, and, to the 
     extent available to the institution, such other identifying 
     information concerning the individuals confined in the 
     institution as the Commissioner may require for the purpose 
     of carrying out paragraph (1); and
       ``(II) the Commissioner shall pay to the institution, with 
     respect to information described in subclause (I) concerning 
     each individual who is confined therein as described in 
     paragraph (1)(A), who receives a benefit under this title for 
     the month preceding the first month of such confinement, and 
     whose benefit under this title is determined by the 
     Commissioner to be not payable by reason of confinement based 
     on the information provided by the institution, $400 (subject 
     to reduction under clause (ii)) if the institution furnishes 
     the information to the Commissioner within 30 days after the 
     date such individual's confinement in such institution 
     begins, or $200 (subject to reduction under clause (ii)) if 
     the institution furnishes the information after 30 days after 
     such date but within 90 days after such date.
       ``(ii) The dollar amounts specified in clause (i)(II) shall 
     be reduced by 50 percent if the Commissioner is also required 
     to make a payment to the institution with respect to the same 
     individual under an agreement entered into under section 
     1611(e)(1)(I).
       ``(iii) The provisions of section 552a of title 5, United 
     States Code, shall not apply to any agreement entered into 
     under clause (i) or to information exchanged pursuant to such 
     agreement.
       ``(iv) There is authorized to be transferred from the 
     Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the 
     Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, as appropriate, such 
     sums as may be necessary to enable the Commissioner to make 
     payments to institutions required by clause (i)(II).
       ``(v) The Commissioner is authorized to provide, on a 
     reimbursable basis, information obtained pursuant to 
     agreements entered into under clause (i) to any agency 
     administering a Federal or federally-assisted cash, food, or 
     medical assistance program for eligibility purposes.''.
       (2) Effective date.--The amendments made by this subsection 
     shall apply to individuals whose period of confinement in an 
     institution commences on or after the first day of the fourth 
     month beginning after the month in which this Act is enacted.
       (b) Elimination of Title II Requirement That Confinement 
     Stem From Crime Punishable by Imprisonment for More Than 1 
     Year.--
       (1) In general.--Section 202(x)(1)(A) of such Act (42 
     U.S.C. 402(x)(1)(A)) is amended--
       (A) in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking 
     ``during'' and inserting ``throughout'';
       (B) in clause (i), by striking ``an offense punishable by 
     imprisonment for more than 1 year (regardless of the actual 
     sentence imposed)'' and inserting ``a criminal offense''; and
       (C) in clause (ii)(I), by striking ``an offense punishable 
     by imprisonment for more than 1 year'' and inserting ``a 
     criminal offense''.
       (2) Effective date.--The amendments made by this subsection 
     shall apply to individuals whose period of confinement in an 
     institution commences on or after the first day of the fourth 
     month beginning after the month in which this Act is enacted.
       (c) Conforming Title XVI Amendments.--
       (1) Fifty percent reduction in title xvi payment in case 
     involving comparable title ii payment.--Section 1611(e)(1)(I) 
     of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1382(e)(1)(I)) is 
     amended--
       (A) in clause (i)(II), by inserting ``(subject to reduction 
     under clause (ii))'' after ``$400'' and after ``$200'';
       (B) by redesignating clauses (ii) and (iii) as clauses 
     (iii) and (iv) respectively; and
       (C) by inserting after clause (i) the following new clause:

[[Page H4018]]

       ``(ii) The dollar amounts specified in clause (i)(II) shall 
     be reduced by 50 percent if the Commissioner is also required 
     to make a payment to the institution with respect to the same 
     individual under an agreement entered into under section 
     202(x)(3)(B).''.
       (2) Expansion of categories of institutions eligible to 
     enter into agreements with the commissioner.--Section 
     1611(e)(1)(I)(i) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1382(e)(1)(I)(i)) is 
     amended in the matter preceding subclause (I) by striking 
     ``institution'' and all that follows through ``section 
     202(x)(1)(A),'' and inserting ``institution comprising a 
     jail, prison, penal institution, or correctional facility, or 
     with any other interested State or local institution a 
     purpose of which is to confine individuals as described in 
     section 202(x)(1)(A)(ii),''.
       (3) Effective date.--The amendments made by this subsection 
     shall take effect as if included in the enactment of section 
     203(a) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity 
     Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193; 110 Stat. 
     2186). The reference to section 202(x)(1)(A)(ii) of the 
     Social Security Act in section 1611(e)(1)(I)(i) of such Act 
     as amended by paragraph (2) shall be deemed a reference to 
     such section 202(x)(1)(A)(ii) as amended by subsection 
     (b)(1)(C).
       (d) Continued Denial of Benefits to Sex Offenders Remaining 
     Confined to Public Institutions Upon Completion of Prison 
     Term.--
       (1) In general.--Section 202(x)(1)(A) of the Social 
     Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402(x)(1)(A)) is amended--
       (A) in clause (i), by striking ``or'' at the end;
       (B) in clause (ii)(IV), by striking the period and 
     inserting ``, or''; and
       (C) by adding at the end the following new clause:
       ``(iii) immediately upon completion of confinement as 
     described in clause (i) pursuant to conviction of a criminal 
     offense an element of which is sexual activity, is confined 
     by court order in an institution at public expense pursuant 
     to a finding that the individual is a sexually dangerous 
     person or a sexual predator or a similar finding.''.
       (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 202(x)(1)(B)(ii) of such 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 402(x)(1)(B)(ii)) is amended by striking 
     ``clause (ii)'' and inserting ``clauses (ii) and (iii)''.
       (3) Effective date.--The amendments made by this subsection 
     shall apply with respect to benefits for months ending after 
     the date of the enactment of this Act.

     SEC 8. REVOCATION BY MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY OF EXEMPTION FROM 
                   SOCIAL SECURITY COVERAGE.

       (a) In General.--Notwithstanding section 1402(e)(4) of the 
     Internal Revenue Code of 1986, any exemption which has been 
     received under section 1402(e)(1) of such Code by a duly 
     ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church, a 
     member of a religious order, or a Christian Science 
     practitioner, and which is effective for the taxable year in 
     which this Act is enacted, may be revoked by filing an 
     application therefor (in such form and manner, and with such 
     official, as may be prescribed in regulations made under 
     chapter 2 of such Code), if such application is filed no 
     later than the due date of the Federal income tax return 
     (including any extension thereof) for the applicant's second 
     taxable year beginning after December 31, 1998. Any such 
     revocation shall be effective (for purposes of chapter 2 of 
     the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and title II of the Social 
     Security Act), as specified in the application, either with 
     respect to the applicant's first taxable year beginning after 
     December 31, 1998, or with respect to the applicant's second 
     taxable year beginning after such date, and for all 
     succeeding taxable years; and the applicant for any such 
     revocation may not thereafter again file application for an 
     exemption under such section 1402(e)(1). If the application 
     is filed after the due date of the applicant's Federal income 
     tax return for a taxable year and is effective with respect 
     to that taxable year, it shall include or be accompanied by 
     payment in full of an amount equal to the total of the taxes 
     that would have been imposed by section 1401 of the Internal 
     Revenue Code of 1986 with respect to all of the applicant's 
     income derived in that taxable year which would have 
     constituted net earnings from self-employment for purposes of 
     chapter 2 of such Code (notwithstanding section 1402 (c)(4) 
     or (c)(5) of such Code) except for the exemption under 
     section 1402(e)(1) of such Code.
       (b) Effective Date.--Subsection (a) shall apply with 
     respect to service performed (to the extent specified in such 
     subsection) in taxable years beginning after December 31, 
     1998, and with respect to monthly insurance benefits payable 
     under title II of the Social Security Act on the basis of the 
     wages and self-employment income of any individual for months 
     in or after the calendar year in which such individual's 
     application for revocation (as described in such subsection) 
     is effective (and lump-sum death payments payable under such 
     title on the basis of such wages and self-employment income 
     in the case of deaths occurring in or after such calendar 
     year).

     SEC. 9. ADDITIONAL TECHNICAL AMENDMENT RELATING TO 
                   COOPERATIVE RESEARCH OR DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS 
                   UNDER TITLES II AND XVI.

       (a) In General.--Section 1110(a)(3) of the Social Security 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 1310(a)(3)) is amended by striking ``title 
     XVI'' and inserting ``title II or XVI''.
       (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) 
     shall take effect as if included in the enactment of the 
     Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 
     1994 (Public Law 103-296; 108 Stat. 1464).

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. After 1 hour of debate on the bill, as 
amended, it shall be in order to consider the further amendment printed 
in the Congressional Record, if offered by the gentleman from New York 
(Mr. Rangel), or his designee, which shall be considered read and 
debatable for 1 hour, equally divided and controlled by the proponent 
and an opponent.
  The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Archer) and the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly) each will control 30 minutes of debate on 
the bill.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Archer).


                             General Leave

  Mr. ARCHER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on H.R. 3433.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ARCHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the Social Security disability program provides 
essential income to those who are unable to work due to severe illness 
or injury. Last year, benefits were paid to more than 6.1 million 
workers, their wives, and their children.
  Since arriving on Capitol Hill 27 years ago, I have worked to make 
this complex, and often very unfriendly, program work better.
  That is why I am so pleased today that my effort has been carried 
forward by the fine work of the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) 
our subcommittee chairman and the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. 
Kennelly) the ranking minority member, as well as all of the other 
members of the Subcommittee on Social Security who have created this 
important bipartisan legislation aimed at providing real opportunities 
for those who want to work.
  Mr. Speaker, so often we hear about the cacophony of this body, the 
fractionalism, the partisanship. It is to be noted that here we are 
doing something together, reaching across the aisle, without 
distinction as to party, to help give opportunity to those who are 
disabled.
  Most of those receiving disability benefits, due to the severity of 
their impairments, cannot attempt to work. Today, however, the 
Americans with Disabilities Act, along with advances in assistive 
technology, medical treatment, and rehabilitation therapies are opening 
doors of opportunity, never thought possible, to individuals with 
disabilities.
  Yet current law still tends to chain these disabled persons to an 
outmoded system, through complex, so-called work incentives. In 
essence, individuals who try to work lose cash benefits along with 
access to medical coverage which they so desperately need while they 
make the move to self-sufficiency.
  This legislation will finally help beneficiaries pass through these 
new doors of opportunity. We are, I believe, our brothers' and sisters' 
keepers. I consider it very important for us to provide the support 
which permits disabled individuals the freedom to reach their utmost 
potential.
  This bill, as I mentioned, is bipartisan and is supported by the 
administration. It also is supported by individuals with disabilities, 
their advocates, rehabilitation service providers, and many others.
  This, therefore, is a proud day for the Committee on Ways and Means 
and for the House of Representatives. America stands for opportunity. 
Today we rise together to provide greater opportunities for those 
individuals with disabilities who want to be gainfully employed.
  I know all of my colleagues will join me with pride in support of 
this pivotal legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. KENNELLY of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time 
as I may consume.
  I would like to do a few things before I make my statement. First, I 
would like to make reference to the letter, the statement of the 
administration on this bill that we have before us today, President 
Bill Clinton and his administration. The letter states:

       The Administration supports H.R. 3433, and is pleased that 
     the House is taking action on

[[Page H4019]]

     the critical issue of making it possible for more people with 
     disabilities to return to or enter the workforce. H.R. 3433 
     would implement a Presidential initiative to increase 
     flexibility and choice for individuals with disabilities who 
     seek services to help them successfully return to work. This 
     is an Administration priority, as reflected in the 
     President's March 13th Executive Order that established a 
     task force of Federal agencies to identify additional actions 
     required to increase the employment of adults with 
     disabilities.
  Bill Clinton, his administration supports this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Archer) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Rangel) for allowing the committee to take the time, and the staff 
effort for bringing this bill forth today so it could be on the floor. 
I would like to also thank Mr. Tony Young from the United Cerebral 
Palsy agency for his time and his effort and being with us not only to 
testify at the hearings but at the various other meetings that we had, 
the United Cerebral Palsy Association is behind this bill, but he has 
been remarkable in his efforts in supporting this and making sure that 
every single ``I'' was dotted and all the work was done as an advocate 
for disabilities. I would also like to thank Marty Ford from AARP for 
the work that she did, the support that she found for us, and I 
obviously want to thank the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) the 
chairman of the Subcommittee on Social Security for his efforts. We 
would not be here if it was not for him today. He was so wonderful in 
making sure all the advocates were able to come forth and to show us 
exactly what happens in the day-to-day life of those with disabilities 
and what we had to do in this legislation to make their lives that much 
better.
  And so, Mr. Speaker, we are here today to send a very, very simple 
message. That message is that a disability should not mean retirement. 
Americans with disabilities have tremendous skills, talents and 
abilities that are very, very, very important to employers. This 
legislation, therefore, attempts to help people voluntarily to return 
to work after they have suffered a disability.
  Mr. Speaker, more than 6 million Americans now receive Social 
Security disability insurance. These people, Mr. Speaker, have paid 
taxes into public insurance and into the system and they have a right 
to these benefits to protect them against the loss of income due to 
retirement or disability.
  Another 4 million adults with disabilities receive SSI payments, 
which are designed to keep low-income Americans who have disabilities 
from having to live below the poverty line. And so we have these 10 
million people being addressed in this legislation today.
  There can be no doubt that these are worthwhile programs that 
millions of Americans depend on. But it is also equally true that given 
the choice, many of these individuals who have disabilities would much 
rather be working. However, Americans with disabilities now find a 
multitude of barriers standing between them and a job. The loss of 
disability benefits, the need for training in a different profession, 
difficulty in learning how to do a new job if in fact you did one 
particular type of work, then had your accident or your sickness, then 
going back into the workforce, could not do that job that you had 
previously done but you could get the training to do a new job, this 
would make all the difference in the world to somebody with a 
disability. Obviously, there is another fear, the great fear of losing 
medical coverage. This very definitely can stand in the way of many 
individuals when daring to go back into the workforce because they have 
that fear that if they go back in, they might not be able to make it 
and then they would lose their health care. Obviously this is something 
that we had to address and we did in this bill.
  This legislation we are now considering would reduce the severity of 
some of these impediments to work. For example, the legislation would 
provide recipients with a much greater choice in vocational 
rehabilitation providers who help train and find jobs for individuals 
with disabilities. Additionally, the measure would provide a clear 
incentive for these providers to help beneficiaries not only get jobs 
but also to stay in them since provider payments would be based on a 
person's work history over a 5-year period.

                              {time}  1615

  This bill would also provide continued Medicare coverage for those 
leaving the SSDI rolls for work. More specifically, the legislation 
would guarantee Medicare coverage for at least 6 years after that 
individual went off disability and returned to the work rolls. Six 
years sounds like a long time, but if you have a serious disability, it 
is the time that you need, and this is an additional 2 years. We have 
under present law 4 years of disability, 4 years of Medicare if you 
have a disability. This increases that number of years to 6 years.
  And, finally, the legislation would test the idea of gradually 
reducing SSDI benefits for individuals who leave the disability rolls 
for work rather than immediately ending their benefits of any month in 
which they earn more than $500, as is the case under current law. In 
other words, what we want to examine is the possibility of providing a 
ramp to get off disability benefits rather than all of a sudden $500 a 
month and a cliff and they are off.
  We do not offer this legislation as the last word in helping 
individuals voluntarily leave the disability rolls for work, but we do 
see this bill as a very constructive first step toward opening the 
doors of employment a little wider for people with disabilities, a 
little larger chance to get back into the mainstream, one opportunity 
more to make sure that they could go back to where they want to be.
  And let me once again point out that even if this bill only 
increases, only increases the number of people leaving the disability 
rolls for work by 1 percent, we would save the Social Security system 
$3 billion. Now that sounds almost imaginable. You cannot imagine that, 
Mr. Speaker; but the fact of the matter is, under the present system we 
are losing $3 billion a year for the system if we do not get at least 1 
percent off the rolls.
  So this bill is truly a win-win proposition. It will help people 
work, and it will strengthen the Social Security system.
  Before I conclude, let me once again thank the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) without whom we would not be here, because he 
called those meetings, he kept us at those meetings, he listened to the 
advocates from around the country bring their testimony to the Congress 
to show what we had to do.
  I have enjoyed working with the chairman of the subcommittee, and I 
really think, I say to the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) that 
we have reduced some of those barriers that are so impossible for 
people to get beyond to get back to work where they want to be. And I 
thank the gentleman very much for letting me work with him, for both of 
us working together, and I am pleased and delighted that this bill is 
on the floor today.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  (Mr. BUNNING asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the ranking member, the 
gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly) for her input on this bill 
and particularly the staffs who worked very well in cooperation to make 
it complete.
  Sandy, thank you very much; and we appreciate all the hard work Kim 
and others on our side have done.
  The Social Security program is vitally important, as everyone knows, 
to all Americans. The disability program is particularly critical in 
protecting those workers and their families who become smitten by an 
incapacitating illness or accident.
  Through our Subcommittee on Social Security hearings over the last 3 
years we have been told over and over by individuals with disabilities, 
their advocates, rehabilitation experts and various providers of 
services that, due to advances in medicine, technology and the field of 
rehabilitation, many individuals with disabilities want to work and 
they believe they could work if provided needed rehabilitation and 
support services and if the program could be changed to remove the 
barriers preventing beneficiaries from becoming self-sufficient through 
employment.

[[Page H4020]]

  Topping the list, and we have heard it before, is the fear of losing 
health care coverage and cash benefits. Another disincentive is that 
beneficiaries currently have limited choices in selecting 
rehabilitation services and who provides those services.
  The gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly) and I, along with 
all of the members of the subcommittee, have worked very hard on a 
bipartisan basis and with the administration to replace disincentives 
with real incentives. Our legislation empowers beneficiaries first by 
allowing them to choose the public or private provider of services 
which best suits their needs and to choose the type of services most 
likely to assist them in entering the work force. The bill pays 
providers of services for results by permitting them to share in the 
savings to the Social Security Trust Funds incurred when the 
beneficiary is working and no longer receiving benefits. The provider 
payment system is designed to ensure that as many providers as possible 
are available to beneficiaries.
  To address one of the primary obstacles facing disability 
beneficiaries who attempt to work, our bill extends, as we have heard 
before, Medicare coverage for an additional 2 years for those who 
participate in the program. To help beneficiaries who have mental 
disabilities or chronic conditions transition into work, our bill 
includes a requirement that SSA test a gradual offset of disability 
cash benefits by reducing benefits $1 for every 2 earned over a 
determined level.
  The Subcommittee on Social Security has crafted a solid bill, a bill 
that, according to preliminary CBO estimates, will more than quadruple 
the number of beneficiaries who will receive rehabilitation and other 
support services as the program is implemented. In addition, this bill 
will save the Social Security Trust Funds and general revenues millions 
of dollars over the years.
  Let me make one point perfectly clear. This is a voluntary program 
providing real opportunities for those who want to work. No one will be 
forced to leave the disability rolls. The Social Security and 
supplemental Social Security income disability programs are preserved 
as a much-needed safety net for people who are unable to work.
  Under this bill, personal responsibility is maximized by allowing 
beneficiaries to take charge of their own lives and become employed. 
This legislation, once signed into law, will transform the disability 
program to a program of investment versus entitlement, encouraging 
self-sufficiency versus dependency. I urge my colleagues to support 
this legislation.
  I also would like to include in the record a letter from the American 
Association of Retired Persons in support of this legislation and also 
a letter from the United States Chamber of Commerce also in support of 
this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  The documents referred to are as follows:


                                                         AARP,

                                                     June 3, 1998.
     Hon. Jim Bunning,
     House of Representatives, Rayburn House Office Building, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Bunning: AARP commends you and 
     Respresentative Kennelly for your leadership on HR 3433, the 
     Ticket to Work Act. We believe your legislation could set the 
     stage for important improvements in both the Social Security 
     and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs 
     that will benefit society, our economy, and beneficiaries who 
     are able to return to work.
       The Ticket to Work Act provides a series of incentives to 
     encourage SSDI and SSI beneficiaries to work to the greatest 
     extent of their abilities. While income support for those who 
     can never return to the workforce is critical, we must do a 
     better job of helping individuals with disabilities who want 
     to, and can, work. This legislation begins the process by 
     phasing-in and then evaluating incentives that many 
     disability experts agree would promote additional work.
       Again, we commend you and your committee for developing a 
     program that will promote greater work effort by disabled 
     beneficiaries who have the ability and desire to return to 
     the labor force--a result that helps returning workers, their 
     families, and society.
           Sincerely,
                                                     Martin Corry,
     Director, Federal Affairs.
                                  ____

                                        Chamber of Commerce of the


                                     United States of America,

                                     Washington, DC, June 3, 1998.
     Hon. Jim Bunning,
     Chairman, Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, 
         House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of 
     Commerce, the world's largest business federation 
     representing more than three million businesses and 
     organizations of every size, sector, and region, we commend 
     you for your sponsorship of H.R. 3433, the Ticket to Work and 
     Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998.
       As the largest business federation, the U.S. Chamber of 
     Commerce has made it a priority to help meet the growing 
     challenge that businesses face in finding skilled workers to 
     sustain a growing economy. Central to combating this problem 
     is the exploration and training of non-traditional sources of 
     labor, such as persons with disabilities. Studies indicate 
     that faced with inadequate rehabilitation and training, as 
     well as the threat of loss of benefits and health care, many 
     persons with disabilities are discouraged to enter the 
     workforce.
       Accordingly, we support H.R. 3433, the Ticket to Work and 
     Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998 which will reduce employment 
     obstacles for Social Security and Supplemental Security 
     Income disability recipients. This bipartisan legislation 
     addresses these employment obstacles by expanding their 
     choices for providers of vocational rehabilitation, by 
     extending their Medicare coverage from four to six years, and 
     by offering them a tax credit of 50 percent for the cost of 
     impairment-related work expenses.
       Workforce development is a top priority of the U.S. 
     Chamber. We therefore pledge to work with both Houses of 
     Congress to enact this critical legislation which empowers 
     disability recipients with the ability to return to a life of 
     economic security and self-sufficiency--a goal that is shared 
     by the American business community.
           Sincerely,
                                                  R. Bruce Josten,
                                         Executive Vice President.

  Mrs. KENNELLY of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to 
the gentlewoman from Florida (Mrs. Thurman).
  Mrs. THURMAN. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly) for yielding this time to me.
  I would like to express my strong support for this bipartisan 
legislation. I think, given the choice, most disability beneficiaries 
would rather be working. However, as we have learned during committee 
hearings, there are currently numerous obstacles facing these 
beneficiaries in their pursuit of employment including the fear of 
losing health and cash benefits and little known and complex work 
incentives.
  In a true bipartisan manner Congress has addressed these issues in 
the legislation before us today. After five hearings over nearly 4 
years involving individuals with disabilities, advocates, 
rehabilitation experts, providers and the administration, we finally 
have a comprehensive bill which we believe will significantly ease the 
transition of SSDI and SSI disabled beneficiaries into the work force.
  In short, H.R. 3433 would establish a ticket to work and self-
sufficiency program which would provide beneficiaries with a ticket to 
obtain vocational rehabilitation employment or other support services. 
These tickets would provide beneficiary choices and essential 
rehabilitation and support services. More specifically, this 
legislation would institute employment networks which would encourage 
disabled beneficiaries to establish employment goals.
  This measure also addresses the fears associated with potentially 
losing one's health care during pursuit of employment by extending 
health care coverage an additional 2 years. And another important 
component of this proposal is that these networks would be paid on a 
results-oriented basis. In other words, payments to providers would be 
based on the success of returning the beneficiary to work. Is not this 
making government and these programs more efficient and effective?
  I would like to thank the Committee on Social Security and, more 
specifically, the chairman, the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) 
and ranking member, the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly) 
for their hard work and commitment to opening these doors to 
employment. This is a strong and effective piece of legislation, and I 
urge my colleagues to give this measure their full support.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Mrs. Johnson).
  Mrs. JOHNSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding this time to me.

[[Page H4021]]

  Mr. Speaker, this is truly a red letter day for disabled Americans, 
and I congratulate the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) and the 
gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly) on this bipartisan 
legislation that is going to change so many lives. They worked together 
and closely with the disabled community to put together a bill that 
will begin to break down the barriers to work and personal fulfillment 
that are now so ingrained in our Social Security disability program.
  I am also pleased that the House has made passage of this bill a 
priority during this session.
  Mr. Speaker, it is our job to be sure that every American has the 
opportunity to develop the skills and abilities they have to fulfill 
their potential in our free society. It is our job to break down 
barriers in old laws so that people can create their futures.
  The current system has had very limited success in helping people, 
indeed even allowing people, to take the steps they desperately want to 
take to change their lives. Currently, less than 5 percent of 
beneficiaries return to work because the program barriers are so 
insurmountable, and this in spite of, as the gentleman from Kentucky 
(Mr. Bunning) alluded to, the dramatic changes that have taken place in 
our rehabilitative resources.
  One of the greatest of these barriers is lack of access to affordable 
health care once a person returns to work. People leaving disability 
usually find employment first in low-paying jobs that rarely offer 
employer-sponsored health coverage. H.R. 3433 takes a powerful step to 
address this problem by extending availability of Medicare coverage.
  However, Medicare does not provide coverage for some of the critical 
services that some disabled people depend upon. For example, 
traditional Medicare does not cover prescription drug coverage or 
provide prescription drug coverage or personal assistance services, 
services critical to disabled people and currently covered by Medicaid 
for low income recipients.
  In meetings with people and organizations in my district over the 
last year I have become keenly aware of the problems faced by people 
with severe psychiatric disabilities in their search for meaningful 
employment. The single largest issue affecting their ability to work is 
their ability to afford psychotropic drugs that help them manage their 
illness. Because traditional Medicare does not provide prescription 
drug coverage, this proposal still leaves many people with limited 
options.
  According to a letter I received from the Connecticut Northwest 
Regional Mental Health Board regarding H.R. 3433, they say persons with 
long-term psychiatric illness experience significant impairment in 
cognitive, behavioral, vocation and interpersonal skills. The impact of 
mental illness on these clients is usually lifelong, with vocational 
capacity varying significantly over the course of a client's illness.
  Mr. Speaker, this is an important piece of legislation, and I urge 
favorable action by the House.

                             {time}  1630.

  Mrs. KENNELLY of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin).
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentlewoman for 
yielding me time, and congratulate her and the chairman of our 
subcommittee on their very diligent and effective work, and now 
successful work.
  Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt this will become law. The reason for 
that is the basic thrust of this legislation, and that is to enhance 
the opportunities of the disabled who want to work, while always 
protecting those who cannot. We must never forget that so many people 
who are receiving disability payments simply are not able to return to 
the workforce, and we must never forget them.
  But for those who are receiving disability payments who could return 
to work or to part-time work, what this bill does is attempt to enhance 
those opportunities, and it does so in a number of imaginative ways. It 
improves the rehabilitative services that are so critical by 
definition, and it does that by changing the scheme and structure of 
payments to try to encourage the effectiveness of their rehabilitation.
  It also, as has been mentioned, undertakes another very vital aspect 
of this, and that is to make sure that there will be continued longer 
Medicare coverage when people move from the disability roll payments to 
work. Without that kind of protection of health care, it is pretty 
clear that there would be continued disincentive to work.
  We have found in other instances that we cannot expect those whose 
only source of medical care is receipt of a payment from the Federal 
Government to forfeit that, and many of the disabled by definition, as 
is true of the nondisabled, would be moving into positions that have no 
health care or very inadequate health care, when the disabled by 
definition need very, very comprehensive health care.
  So I congratulate the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) and the 
gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly) for this provision. Also 
there is an effort to look at the possibility of a new structure so 
disability payments can continue in some amount while people are moving 
from disability to work. So I congratulate the authors. I have been 
proud to be a cosponsor and work with them. I hope this will pass, not 
only overwhelmingly but unanimously, and we can all go to the White 
House, or at least maybe in the quiet of night or day it will be 
signed. One way or another, it will become law.
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. English).
  (Mr. ENGLISH of Pennsylvania asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. ENGLISH of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to 
thank the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning), who more than anyone 
has put in long years to bring this legislation to the floor. It is a 
great tribute to him and his efforts.
  Mr. Speaker, every American should have the right to aspire to the 
American dream. In America, every citizen should have the opportunity 
to participate in our economy to the extent of their talent or 
abilities.
  Unfortunately, many individuals with disabilities have had the 
American dream recede beyond their reach, not because of physical 
limitations but because of roadblocks created within our system of 
social services. These artificial barriers unfairly and unnecessarily 
reduce workforce participation and economic opportunity for many 
Americans whose disability should not bar them from gainful employment.
  Mr. Speaker, in my view the time has come to empower these Americans 
to participate fully in the broad emporium of our national economy. I 
rise in strong support of the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Act. 
This bipartisan bill establishes a new program that will provide SSDI 
and SSI disabled beneficiaries with a ticket to a variety of support 
services, enabling these beneficiaries to reenter the workforce.
  Private sector providers, known as employment networks, would be 
established to assist beneficiaries, and the Social Security 
Administration would contract with program managers to administer the 
Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program nationwide.
  The program will include vocational rehabilitation and employment 
services, and beneficiaries would be in a position to choose the 
service provider that they would like to participate in. This will 
create competition and improve quality.
  The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program would pay employment 
networks for results, rather than merely for the cost of their 
services. It also contains a significant demonstration project that 
allows the disabled to maintain their benefits while earning more at 
work than allowed under current law.
  Right now, we have a situation which I consider obscene. Once a 
Social Security disability beneficiary reaches an income level of only 
$500 a month, all of their cash benefits are cut off. This has the 
effect of retarding workforce participation by recipients and punishing 
hard work and ambition among some of our most vulnerable citizens.
  Under this bill, Social Security would be required to conduct a 
demonstration project to study the effects of replacing that income 
cliff with a $1 for $2 withholding of benefits for earnings at the 
current cutoff level. Instead of a cliff, it would be a slope, and we 
know intuitively that more people would be able to participate.

[[Page H4022]]

  This is balanced and much-needed legislation that finally begins to 
address the needs of disabled individuals who want to work, but are 
discouraged from doing so by a variety of irrational roadblocks. I urge 
passage of this legislation.
  Mrs. KENNELLY of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Vento).
  Mr. VENTO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me time, 
and commend her and the committee on which she serves for the work they 
have done on this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation. I think it is 
important to understand with all the discussion that has gone on with 
regard to the Social Security programs that nearly 40 percent, 38 
percent, actually, of the benefits that are payable by the Social 
Security Administration from those funds go to those on disability and 
to survivors and to dependents. Almost 40 percent, 38 cents out of a 
dollar, go for that purpose.
  This bill, of course, attempts to begin to review and try to, I think 
in a common sense way, provide a positive path for those on Social 
Security disability to move back into the mainstream of our society and 
back into the world of work.
  It is called a Ticket to Work, and it is very important, as we look 
at the structure of our Social Security disability system with the $500 
earnings limit, all of a sudden one day you have the benefits coming in 
for a month, which probably are far in excess of that $500, plus you 
have the opportunity for health benefits and other support programs, 
but you simply would, as indicated, be dropped off a cliff. So it makes 
it very difficult. This begins to look at trying to change that system.
  Of course, as most of my colleagues are aware, Social Security 
disability recipients, a small number of them, actually do participate 
in vocational rehabilitation programs. But I believe there is not 
enough of an emphasis upon that, especially considering the fact that 
many Social Security disability beneficiaries may be young people. They 
may have been the victim of an auto accident or some other type of 
instance. Or they may be older workers that find it is easier to be on 
Social Security disability than to be involved in retraining. When they 
are 62, then they are mandatorily retired at that point. In fact, most 
of us recognize that their efforts in terms of work could well extend 
beyond the normal retirement age today of 65, and they could be working 
until they are 70.
  This is one of the really important ways to try and rectify some of 
the problems with the Social Security insurance program. Many of my 
constituents, and I think many of the people across this country are 
not aware of the fact that they are insured by this particular system 
and the amount of resources that move in this direction.
  I think it is also, of course, workable for those on SSI. This bill 
embraces both, and I note in reading the summary that we have been 
given of this that this bill actually in five years, while just a pilot 
program, I guess, in most respects, will save almost $40 million. So it 
is actually saving money by investing in people, investing in training 
and providing incentives to those who do the vocational training so 
they can share in some remuneration from this. It actually saves the 
taxpayer and saves the Social Security Administration money.
  So, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote for this. I think it is 
a good idea, and I hope it is a great success when put in place.
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Hulshof).
  Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Speaker, as both a member of the Subcommittee on 
Social Security and a cosponsor of the Ticket to Work and Self-
Sufficiency Act, I rise to express my strong support for this important 
and well-conceived piece of legislation. I do commend the gentleman 
from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning), the chairman of the subcommittee, as well 
as the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly), the ranking 
member, for their efforts in working together.
  Over the last 18 months that I have been a member of the subcommittee 
we have had, I think, three separate hearings on the current SSDI and 
SSI programs and their existing work incentives. What our subcommittee 
heard, Mr. Speaker, was heartening testimony from disabled individuals 
who have a genuine desire to return to work and provide for their own 
well-being.
  What we also discovered is that the existing programs, as has been 
mentioned, and as are currently structured, often serve as a barrier 
for these individuals to achieve the noble and worthwhile goal of 
becoming productive citizens. We cannot as a body in good conscience 
allow a program that is meant to help the disabled turn into a system 
that restricts the potential of the motivated and talented individuals 
who, despite simply a disability, want to move on with their lives.
  What this Ticket to Work Act does is give those who are afflicted 
with a disability a helping hand. Recognizing that the challenges that 
no two persons face are alike, this bill gives those that are disabled 
the ability to receive rehabilitation services from the provider of 
their choosing and then, as empowered consumers, the disabled will be 
able to receive rehabilitation services from the provider that can best 
provide their specific needs.
  As has been mentioned, under current law the disabled are required to 
see State agencies for help. This legislation will allow individuals in 
the public or private or not-for-profit sectors to work together to 
help those disabled individuals who want to return to the workforce. 
Private agencies offering vocational training would be reimbursed 
according to the agency's success in helping people return to work and 
then remain in the workforce.
  Since one of the major inhibitions preventing the disabled from 
enjoying economic success is the fear of losing health insurance, this 
bill we are considering extends Medicare eligibility for an additional 
two years. Again, under current law people on SSDI, as the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania pointed out very eloquently, SSDI abruptly terminates 
benefits once a disabled individual earns $500 a month.
  This legislation authorizes the Social Security Administration to 
conduct a demonstration project to replace this current income cliff 
with a gradual, sliding scale reduction in SSDI benefits as individuals 
enjoy more success in the workforce and their earnings increase.
  Mr. Speaker, it takes courage and it takes dedication for a disabled 
individual to return to work. I have the utmost respect and admiration 
for those who are willing to take this important step. Again, we should 
be looking to knock down, not erect, barriers for these courageous 
individuals. This legislation does just that.
  The Ticket to Work Act will go a long way in achieving everyone's 
goal of helping people move on with their lives, allow our society to 
benefit, and I urge support. I thank the chairman and ranking member 
for their great work in fashioning this bill.
  Mrs. KENNELLY of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I am delighted we have 
reached this juncture where we are about to pass this bill that sends a 
message of hope to millions of people on disability that there will be 
additional help to make that transfer back to the workplace, if 
possible.
  Mr. Speaker, having no further speakers, I yield back the balance of 
my time.

                              {time}  1645

  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, I have the great pleasure of yielding 2 
minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Frelinghuysen).
  Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in support of 
H.R. 3433, and commend the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) and 
the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly) for all of their hard 
work in putting together this important, comprehensive, and what I 
would call historic legislation and bringing it to the floor today.
  This bill will provide a true Ticket to Work for disabled individuals 
by bringing them back into the workforce while providing them with a 
safety net of needed government services. It addresses the 
disincentives which exist in current law that discourage disabled 
individuals from joining the workforce.
  According to a recent Washington Post article, 6.6 million working-
age Americans receive disability checks from the Federal Government 
every month. All too often, these individuals are unable to return to 
the workforce.

[[Page H4023]]

  Among the barriers they face upon returning to work is that they risk 
the loss of important medical benefits such as Medicare health 
coverage. Under this legislation, individuals would be eligible for up 
to 6 years of Medicare benefits. In addition, this bill provides a 
voucher that individuals can exchange for rehabilitation, employment or 
other necessary services.
  The Ticket to Work bill will change the Social Security 
Administration's disability programs for the better. As Tony Young of 
the United Cerebral Palsy Association said in his testimony before the 
Committee on Ways and Means in March, these programs, and I quote, 
``are transformed from a safety net into a trampoline; not only 
catching people with disabilities as they fall out of work, but also 
giving them a boost back into work as they are ready.''
  I know how important this work is. One of my constituents, Matt 
Conway of Florham Park, New Jersey, has been honored by the Foundation 
for Excellent Children's Yes I Can! Program for his achievements in the 
working world. This type of bill will assure that the Mat Conways of 
this world have future opportunities.
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Weller).
  Mr. WELLER. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Subcommittee on Social 
Security, let me begin by commending the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. 
Bunning), the chairman, and the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. 
Kennelly), the ranking member, for their leadership and hard work in 
producing some real successful results, legislation that is going to 
help people, people who want to work and become self-sufficient.
  I am proud that it has earned overwhelming bipartisan support; and 
that is a result of hard work by the two leaders of our subcommittee. 
The bottom line is this is a good bill, legislation that helps the 
disabled.
  Disabled people have said we need to do a better job. When I came to 
Washington in 1994, one of our goals was, of course, to change how 
Washington works and to make government work better for those who need 
help. It is this type of legislation that can make that kind of 
difference for those who need help.
  People want to work. In this case, the disabled have asked for a 
helping hand with training and rehabilitation. This legislation works 
towards that goal, giving the disabled an opportunity to work and 
become more self-sufficient.
  Unfortunately, our current disability system has not been working 
very well, only enabling about 8,000 Americans who are disabled to join 
the workforce each year. This legislation will give disability 
beneficiaries a ticket or voucher so they can use State or nonprofit or 
private employment training programs, and also give service providers 
incentives to do a better job, better train their clients, provide them 
with permanent employment and job opportunities.
  There is another important provision I would like to mention, and I 
particularly want to commend the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Herger), my colleague, for his work with this particular provision 
included in this legislation. That is the legislation that was 
originally contained in H.R. 530, the Criminal Welfare Prevention Act, 
Part II, which was included as part of this legislation.
  As you know, in 1996 the welfare reform legislation cracked down on 
convicted criminals, prison inmates, receiving SSI payments, a concern 
many taxpayers were shocked to discover. Since that legislation was 
signed into law, as many as 500,000 criminals no longer qualify for 
SSI. This legislation goes one step further and helps deny Social 
Security payments to convicted criminals in prison.
  I find one frustration of many senior citizens is why, they ask, do 
we give Social Security benefits to convicted criminals in prison? 
Thanks to the efforts of the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) and 
the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly), and of course the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Herger), this new legislation will 
potentially save taxpayers $3.5 billion over the next 7 years.
  I am proud to support this legislation. It deserves bipartisan 
support. It enables those who want into the workforce, and of course to 
become self-sufficient, to accomplish that goal. We lend them a helping 
hand. It deserves bipartisan support, and for that, I ask my colleagues 
to lend that bipartisan support to H.R. 3433, the Ticket to Work and 
Self-Sufficiency Act.
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, may I ask how much time we have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Pease). The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. 
Bunning) has 7 minutes remaining. The gentlewoman from Connecticut 
(Mrs. Kennelly) has yielded back her time.
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself whatever time I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank everyone for their cooperation in the 
subcommittee; the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly), who has 
done a very good job in helping craft this legislation.
  I think this is the type of legislation that we ought to work for on 
a daily basis, a bipartisan piece of legislation that I am sure when it 
goes to the other body, we will find people that will work to make sure 
that we finally get this bill to the President's desk for his 
signature.
  I am very, very proud of the 3 years of work that we have put in on 
this legislation to iron out the many differences that we had so that 
we can bring a bill that everyone in the subcommittee and everyone in 
the full Committee on Ways and Means supports.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield whatever time he may consume to my good friend, 
the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman).
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I want to start by commending the gentleman 
from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) for spending the last couple of years 
putting together this legislation. It was a great example of rolling up 
your sleeves and working on a tough problem that not many people want 
to face.
  I also want to congratulate the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. 
Kennelly) who worked on a bipartisan basis with the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Bunning).
  We have heard over the last couple years on the subcommittee from a 
lot of people who have disabilities but they truly want to work, and 
technological as well as medical advances might permit them to work, 
might make it possible for them to work. Unfortunately, the current 
Social Security disability program has an inherent number of obstacles 
and disincentives that make it pretty difficult and undesirable for 
people to leave the rolls and seek gainful employment, because they 
might lose cash or critical Medicare benefits.
  This proposal is designed today to eliminate obstacles. I know there 
has been a lot of discussion on it already. Again, I want to say it is 
good common sense work. It took a lot of time to put together something 
that makes sense. It is bipartisan. In the end, what is exciting about 
this is it is going to help people to work, to be able to have gainful 
employment, to be able to take care of themselves. It also, in the end, 
saves the taxpayer money.
  The information we have is that it will save the Social Security 
system nearly $40 million over the next 5 years alone. Again, the key 
to it is it can provide people with opportunities and means that they 
have asked for to become productive members of society.
  It is a good, fiscally responsible bill, and I want to congratulate 
again the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) for spending the time 
and effort to put this together, and his cosponsor, the gentlewoman 
from Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly).
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the Ticket 
to Work and Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998.
  I support this bill because it facilitates the task of rejoining the 
workforce for the over 8 million people with disabilities who are 
currently collecting monies from Social Security Income (SSI) or Social 
Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). More than 30,000 of these people 
live in Harris County, in which my district sits.
  I truly believe that the majority of people with disabilities want to 
work. This act opens up a multitude of resources that they can use to 
find work that were only sporadically available to them before. Under 
current law, vocational counseling for people receiving SSI or SSDI can 
only be done by state-run Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies, who 
are only able to serve about 10% of the disabled

[[Page H4024]]

people referred to them. This bill allows non-profit and private 
organizations to help these people find meaningful and productive work.
  Furthermore, by extending benefits to people who join this program 
for two years, it alleviates a fear common to almost all people who 
receive public assistance--that in reentering the workforce, they will 
lose the entirety of their benefits. Without this loss of necessary 
income to stop their progress, these people will no longer feel 
inhibited to go out and find work.
  I also support this Act because it furthers the goals of the 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)--to help disabled persons 
participate in a meaningful way in our society. This bill, coupled with 
the ADA, not only prohibits employers from discriminating against 
disabled persons, but also gives those employers access to a new pool 
of potential recruits, who are both qualified and willing to work.
  Finally, I am happy to report to you that current estimates have this 
bill saving the taxpayers $38 million over the next five years. 
Colleagues, this bill is fiscally and socially beneficial for all 
Americans.
  I ask that all my colleagues join this bipartisan effort to give hope 
and meaning to millions of people's lives.
  Mr. RAMSTAD. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 
3433, the ``Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Act.''
  The National Council on Disability said it best in its report to the 
105th Congress on removing barriers to work when it wrote, ``Social 
Security programs can be transformed from a lifelong entitlement into 
an investment in employment potential for thousands of individuals.''
  Historically, fewer than 1% of people with disabilities leave the 
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability 
Income (SSDI) rolls following successful rehabilitation.
  Individuals with disabilities have insufficient access to, and choice 
of, the services and supports they need to achieve employment. In fact, 
most SSI and SSDI beneficiaries are never even offered rehabilitation 
services.
  This legislation empowers individuals with disabilities to choose 
from the state Vocational Rehabilitation agency or among private-sector 
employment networks which provide an array of vocational 
rehabilitation, employment and other support services to beneficiaries.
  It also breaks through the complexities of the current system by 
establishing a corps of work incentive specialists to accurately 
disseminate information on SSI and SSDI work incentives.
  While I wish the bill included a more comprehensive approach for 
tackling the complex health care needs of individuals who return to 
work, I am glad it does include a provision to at least extend Medicare 
eligibility for two years during the program's implementation.
  I look forward to continuing to work on these critical health care 
issues during the conference with the Senate on this legislation, or 
next year when the Commerce Committee looks at health care needs under 
the Medicaid program.
  Mr. Speaker, despite my concerns about the health care provisions in 
this bill, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation before us 
today because it begins the process of breaking down the barriers to 
work for individuals with disabilities.
  Preventing people from working run counter to the American spirit, a 
spirit that thrives on individual achievements and the larger 
contributions to society that result.
  Creating work incentives for people with disabilities is not just 
humane public policy, it is sound fiscal policy.
  Removing the barriers that discourage people with disabilities from 
working will mean they can earn a regular paycheck, pay taxes and move 
off public assistance. It means they can return to work and live up to 
their full potential.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Reps. Bunning and Kennelly for this work 
in this area. Again, I urge members to vote yes on H.R. 3433.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 450, the 
previous question is ordered on the bill, as amended.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced the 
ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 5 of rule I, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed until tomorrow.

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