ASSEMBLY, No. 2110

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 3, 1996

 

 

By Assemblymen PASCRELL, BLEE, Doria, LeFevre, T.Smith, Corodemus, Roberts, Suliga, Mattison, Charles, Jones, Dalton, Barnes, Greenwald, Impreveduto, Assemblywoman Gill, Assemblymen Cohen, Gregg, Augustine, Bagger, Assemblywomen Buono, Friscia, Assemblymen Wisniewski, Garcia, Romano, R.Smith, Green, Assemblywomen Turner, Weinberg, Assemblymen Stanley, Gusciora, Assemblywoman Quigley, Assemblymen Caraballo, Zisa and Steele

 

 

An Act establishing the "Legislative Commission on Charity Care Funding."

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Legislative Commission on Charity Care Funding Act."

 

    2. The Legislature finds and declares that:

    a. The State should take all necessary and appropriate actions to ensure that high quality and cost-effective health care services are available to all of its citizens;

    b. There are more than one million New Jersey residents without health insurance coverage to protect themselves and their families against the soaring costs of health care services;

    c. The business community and health insurers are increasingly concerned about funding hospital charity care as a result of the growing financial burden imposed upon them by increasing health care costs;

    d. Hospitals in this State are mandated by State law to provide care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay or source of payment;

    e. The Governor and Legislature have to date been unable to implement a means of paying for hospital charity care in a manner that ensures a permanent source of funding, fully reimburses hospitals for the care that they provide, and recognizes the broad societal obligation attendant upon State government in attempting to devise an appropriate policy to address this issue; and

    g. The Governor, Legislature and other interested parties have an obligation to finally meet the challenge of funding hospital charity care on a permanent basis that adequately addresses the financial needs of hospitals and health care accessibility for all New Jerseyans within the context of a responsible State fiscal policy.

 

    3. There is established the "Legislative Commission on Charity Care Funding." The purpose of the commission is to study the issue of reimbursing hospitals for the charity care which they provide pursuant to State and federal law and to develop recommendations for legislation to provide a permanent solution to funding hospital charity care subsidies which is realistic and equitable with respect to the amount of funding provided and the source of that funding.

    The commission shall present a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature no later than three months after the organization of the commission and a final report no later than three months after the presentation of the preliminary report.

 

    4. a. The commission shall consist of 21 members as follows: three members of the Senate, no more than two of whom shall be of the same political party, to be appointed by the President of the Senate; three members of the General Assembly, no more than two of whom shall be of the same political party, to be appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly; and 15 public members to be appointed by the Governor as follows: one member upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Hospital Association; one member upon the recommendation of the Hospital Alliance of New Jersey; one member upon the recommendation of the University Health System of New Jersey; one member upon the recommendation of the Medical Society of New Jersey; one member upon the recommendation of the New Jersey State Nurses Association; one member upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Dental Association; two representatives of business organizations; two members upon the recommendation of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO; one representative of a health insurer authorized to transact business in this State; one member upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Health Maintenance Organization Association; one member upon the recommendation of a separate employee welfare arrangement established pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement; one member upon the recommendation of a separate employer who provides a self-insured health benefits plan to his employees; and one member of the public who shall not represent the sectors of business, labor, health care providers or the professions or insurers hereinabove listed, but who shall be a consumer of health care services.

    b. The commission shall elect a chairman and a vice chairman from among its public members and a secretary who need not be a member of the commission.


    c. Vacancies in the membership of the commission shall be filled in the same manner provided for the original appointments. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for traveling and other miscellaneous expenses necessary to perform their duties, within the limits of funds made available to the commission for its purposes.

 

    5. The commission shall be entitled to call upon the services of any State, county or municipal department, board, commission or agency, as may be available to it for these purposes, and to incur such traveling and other miscellaneous expenses as it may deem necessary for the proper execution of its duties and as may be within the limit of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for these purposes.

 

    6. The commission may meet and hold hearings at such places as it shall designate during the sessions or recesses of the Legislature.

 

    7. The commission shall expire upon the issuance of its report.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill establishes a 21-member "Legislative Commission on Charity Care Funding." The commission is to study the issue of reimbursing hospitals for the charity care which they provide pursuant to State and federal law and to develop recommendations for legislation to provide a permanent solution to funding hospital charity care subsidies which is realistic and equitable with respect to the amount of funding provided and the source of that funding. The commission is directed to present a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature no later than three months after the organization of the commission and a final report no later than three months after the first report.

    The members of the commission will include three Senators and three Assemblymen and 15 public members The public members, to be appointed by the Governor, shall include a representative each from the New Jersey Hospital Association, the Hospital Alliance of New Jersey, the University Health System of New Jersey, the Medical Society of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Nurses Association, the New Jersey Dental Association, a health insurer, the New Jersey Health Maintenance Organization Association, and both a union and an employer self-insured health coverage plan, two representatives from business organizations and two from the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, and a member of the public who is a consumer of health care services.


 

"Legislative Commission on Charity Care Funding Act."