Number: 110-14
Date: November 2, 2007

House and Senate Pass H.R. 3963, the "Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007''

On November 1, 2007, the Senate passed without amendment H.R. 3963 , by a vote of 64 yeas to 30 nays, a bill to amend Title XXI of the Social Security Act to extend and improve the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), clearing the measure for the President. The House passed the bill on October 25, 2007, by a vote of 265 yeas to 42 nays. H.R. 3963 is similar to H.R. 976, which President Bush vetoed on 10/3/07, and which veto the House failed to override on 10/18/07; the veto was sustained. Following are provisions of the bill of interest to SSA:

Verification of Declaration of Citizenship or Nationality for Purposes of Eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP

•  Would give States the option to verify an individual's declaration that he or she is a U.S. citizen or national for purposes of Medicaid and/or CHIP eligibility through an electronic comparison of the information provided by the individual with the information in the records maintained by the Commissioner of Social Security.

•  Under the provision, a State could submit for comparison with the Social Security Administration (SSA) records, the name and SSN of an individual who has declared U.S. citizenship or nationality. In the case of an individual whose name, SSN and/or declaration of U.S. citizenship or nationality is inconsistent with the information in SSA's records, SSA would so notify the State.

•  In such cases, the State would have to make a reasonable effort to identify and address the causes of the inconsistent information.

•  After such reasonable efforts are made, the State would provide the individual with 90 days to resolve the inconsistency with the Commissioner of Social Security, or to present to the State, paper documentation of citizenship (e.g., a U.S. passport or birth certificate combined with a prescribed, acceptable identity document).

•  The State would disenroll the individual within 30 days after the end of the 90-day period if documentation is not provided or the inconsistency is not resolved with SSA.

•  Would provide that States who choose the electronic method to enter into an agreement with the Commissioner to allow States to electronically submit for comparison each month the names and SSNs of each individual who has declared to be a U.S. citizen or national and is newly enrolled (but not dually enrolled in another income maintenance program) for that month: (1) through an on-line system or otherwise at least monthly; or, (2) through other methods agreed to by the State and Commissioner and approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, provided that such method is no more burdensome on the individual than the first method.

•  Would appropriate $5,000,000 to the Commissioner of Social Security to remain available until expended to carry out the Commissioner's responsibilities as outlined in the provisions above.

•  Would be effective October 1, 2008.

Extension of SSI Web-Based Asset Demonstration Project to the Medicaid Program

•  Would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use the current process that SSA uses in the Access to Information Held by Financial Institutions pilot project to be utilized for verification of assets for Medicaid eligibility of individuals not applying for SSI. Extension to Medicaid would be limited to States in which the SSI demonstration project is operating.

•  Would be effective October 1, 2012.

Protection for Families Caring for Injured Service Members

•  Would amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to provide up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to employees who are caring for family members who have been injured or become ill in the line of active military service. Eligible employees could elect (or employers could require) that accrued paid leave be substituted for unpaid leave.

Would be effective October 1, 2007.