June 24, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 106 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 106
(Senate - June 24, 2019)
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[Pages S4458-S4459] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS By Mr. THUNE (for himself and Mr. Carper): S. 1948. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permit high deductible health plans to provide chronic disease prevention services to plan enrollees prior to satisfying their plan deductible; to the Committee on Finance. Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record. There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: S. 1948 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; FINDINGS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Chronic Disease Management Act of 2019''. (b) Findings.--Congress finds the following: (1) A small number of chronic diseases account for the majority of health care spending in the United States. (2) The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health of the Department of Health and Human Services used a deliberative process involving the Multiple Chronic Conditions working group subject matter experts in clinical medicine, epidemiology, and public [[Page S4459]] health to develop a list of 20 chronic conditions that are prevalent and potentially amenable to public health or clinical interventions, or a combination of both. (3) Limited and targeted interventions for many chronic diseases prevent the need for additional, more costly therapies associated with untreated or unmanaged chronic diseases that lead to adverse effects on quality of life for patients. (4) These types of chronic care preventive services should be encouraged to maximize the effectiveness and positive outcomes of the care provided under high deductible health plans. (5) Section 223(c)(2)(C) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 explicitly grants the Secretary of the Treasury flexibility in defining the scope of preventive care for purposes of the preventive care safe harbor. As of the date of introduction of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury has refrained from exercising existing authority under such section to expand the preventive care safe harbor to include chronic disease prevention. (6) In the absence of an expansion of the preventive care safe harbor by the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chronic Disease Management Act of 2019 would expressly permit high- deductible health plans to provide chronic disease prevention and treatment, subject to certain limitations, prior to a plan enrollee having met their plan deductible. (7) Allowing health savings account-eligible high- deductible health plans to cover chronic disease prevention and treatment on a pre-deductible basis promotes the concept of Value-Based Insurance Design, which is an effective tool to improve the quality and reduce the cost of care for Americans with chronic diseases, with improved outcomes via increased medication adherence, reduced complications, and decreased emergency department visits. SEC. 2. CHRONIC DISEASE PREVENTION. (a) In General.--Section 223(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by redesignating subparagraph (D) as subparagraph (E) and by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following new subparagraph: ``(D) Safe harbor for absence of deductible for care related to chronic conditions.--A plan shall not fail to be treated as a high deductible health plan by reason of failing to have a deductible for care related to the treatment of any chronic condition, as determined by the Assistant Secretary for Health of the Department of Health and Human Services.''. (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall apply to coverage for months beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act. ______ By Ms. COLLINS (for herself and Ms. Smith): S. 1949. A bill to amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require the Secretary of Agriculture to make loan guarantees and grants to finance certain improvements to school lunch facilities, to train school food service personnel, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I am pleased to join my colleague from Minnesota, Senator Smith, in introducing the School Food Modernization Act to assist schools in updating outdated kitchen equipment, allowing them to provide healthier meals to students. School meals play a vital role in the lives of our young people. More than 95,000 schools participate in the National School Lunch program, serving upwards of 30 million children each day. Many children consume up to half their daily caloric intake at school, and some get their most nutritious meal of the day at school instead of at home. Because school meals are a significant source of daily nutrition for so many, we must consistently aim to improve the program to best serve students. Schools built decades ago often lack the equipment and infrastructure necessary to do more than reheat and serve one or two meal options each day. In 2014, it was estimated that Maine schools alone would need $58.8 million for equipment infrastructure upgrades needed to serve healthy meals to all of our students. I am pleased that the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee has consistently recognized this need, and in Fiscal Year 2019 appropriated $30 million for School Equipment Assistance Grants. Through this funding, Maine will be able to competitively award $85,470 to school districts in need of updated equipment. Nutrition directors at Mount View High School in Thorndike, Maine, used USDA Equipment Assistance funding to purchase a blast chiller to accommodate increased quantities of fruits and vegetables. Thanks to this equipment, the school is now able to quickly and safely preserve the food's freshness while reducing spoilage. Other schools have acquired hot holding cabinets, mobile food carts, and even combination ovens, which prepare foods faster and maintain more vitamin and nutrient content compared with many other cooking methods. Our legislation would codify and improve this successful grant program to better meet the growing need nationwide. The School Food Modernization Act seeks to help school food service personnel offer a wide variety of nutritious and appealing meals to all students. First, the bill would provide targeted grant assistance to supply the seed funding needed to upgrade kitchen infrastructure or to purchase high-quality equipment. Second, it would establish a loan guarantee assistance program within USDA to help schools acquire new equipment. Finally, to aid school food services personnel in running successful, healthy programs, the legislation would authorize USDA to provide support on a competitive basis to highly qualified third-party trainers to develop and administer training and technical assistance, including online programs. I appreciate that some provisions of this legislation were incorporated into previous versions of the Children Nutrition Reauthorization legislation approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee. I encourage our colleagues to continue to support school kitchen equipment needs as the reauthorization process continues. Mr. President, if our school children are going to be able to learn and succeed, they need their minds and bodies to be fully nourished. This bill would help us achieve that goal. ____________________