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S. 2077 (is) To maximize the national security of the United States and minimize the ...

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  2d Session
                                S. 2076

    To amend title XI of the Social Security Act to provide direct 
congressional access to the office of the Chief Actuary in the Centers 
                   for Medicare & Medicaid Services.



                           February 12, 2004

  Mr. Baucus introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
                  referred to the Committee on Finance


                                 A BILL

    To amend title XI of the Social Security Act to provide direct 
congressional access to the office of the Chief Actuary in the Centers 
                   for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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


    This Act may be cited as the ``Congressional Access to the CMS 
Chief Actuary Act of 2004''.


    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) In creating the Office of the Actuary in the Health 
        Care Financing Administration (now known as the Centers for 
        Medicare & Medicaid Services) with the enactment of the 
        Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Congress intended that the Office 
        would provide independent advice and analysis to assist in the 
        development of health care legislation.
            (2) While the Congressional Budget Office would continue to 
        serve as the official source for cost estimates for Congress, 
        Congress created the Office of the Actuary in order to have--
                    (A) an additional, independent source for estimates 
                in the development of health care legislation; and
                    (B) access to more detailed actuarial data and 
                assumptions related to program participation, payments, 
                and costs.
            (3) While the joint explanatory statement of the committee 
        of conference contained in the conference report for the 
        Balanced Budget Act of 1997 provided a clear statement of the 
        Congressional intent described in paragraphs (1) and (2), 
        Congressional access to the Office of the Actuary has been 
        inappropriately restricted over the past year.
    (b) Access.--Section 1117(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
1317(b)), as amended by section 900(c) of the Medicare Prescription 
Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-173), 
is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    ``(4)(A) In exercising the duties of the office of the Chief 
Actuary, the Chief Actuary shall provide the committees of jurisdiction 
of Congress with independent counsel and technical assistance with 
respect to the programs under titles XVIII, XIX, and XXI.
    ``(B) The Chief Actuary may directly provide Congress with reports, 
comments on, and estimates of, the financial effects of potential 
legislation, and other actuarial information related to the programs 
described in subparagraph (A). No officer or agency of the United 
States may require the Chief Actuary to submit to any officer or agency 
of the United States for approval, comments, or review, prior to the 
provision to Congress of such reports, comments, estimates, or other 

Pages: 1

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