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Steve Grissom Relief Fund Act of 2003 (Introduced in Senate)


S 1536 IS

108th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1536

To provide for compassionate payments with regard to individuals who
contracted human immunodeficiency virus due to the provision of a
contaminated blood transfusion , and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 31 (legislative day, JULY 21), 2003

Mr. EDWARDS (for himself and Mr. JEFFORDS) introduced the following bill;
which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education,
Labor, and Pensions

A BILL

To provide for compassionate payments with regard to individuals who
contracted human immunodeficiency virus due to the provision of a
contaminated blood transfusion , and for other purposes.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) SHORT TITLE-This Act may be cited as the `Steve Grissom Relief Fund Act
of 2003'.

(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS-The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

TITLE I--RELIEF FUND

Sec. 101. Steve Grissom relief fund.

Sec. 102. Compassionate payments.

Sec. 103. Determination and payment.

Sec. 104. Limitation on transfer of rights and number of petitions.

Sec. 105. Time limitation.

Sec. 106. Certain claims not affected by payment.

Sec. 107. Definitions.

TITLE II--TREATMENT OF CERTAIN PAYMENTS UNDER THE SSI PROGRAM

Sec. 201. Treatment of certain payments under the SSI program.

TITLE I--RELIEF FUND

SEC. 101. STEVE GRISSOM RELIEF FUND.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT-There is established in the Treasury of the United States
a trust fund to be known as the `Steve Grissom Relief Fund', which shall be
administered by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(b) INVESTMETN OF AMOUNTS IN FUND-Amounts in the Fund shall be invested in
accordance with section 9702 of title 31, United States Code, and any
interest on and proceeds from any such investment shall be credited to an
become part of the Fund.

(c) AVAILABILITY OF FUND-Amounts in the Fund shall be available only for
disbursement by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section
103.

(d) TERMINATION-The Fund shall terminate upon the expiration of the 5-year
period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act. If all of the
amounts in the Fund have not been expended by the end of the 5-year period,
investments of amounts in the Fund shall be liquidated, the receipts of
such liquidation shall be deposited in the Fund, and all funds remaining in
the Fund shall be deposited in the miscellaneous receipts account in the
Treasury of the United States.

(e) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS-There is authorized to be appropriated
to the Fund such sums as may be necessary to carry out this title.

SEC. 102. COMPASSIONATE PAYMENTS.

(a) IN GENERAL-If the conditions described in subsection (b) are met and if
there are sufficient amounts in the Fund to make each payment, the
Secretary shall make a single payment of $100,000 from the Fund to any
individual who has an HIV infection, or who is diagnosed with AIDS, and who
is described in one of the following paragraphs:

(1) The individual was treated with HIV contaminated blood transfusion ,
HIV contaminated blood components, HIV contaminated human tissue, or HIV
contaminated organs (excluding Anti-hemophiliac Factor) in the United
States during the period beginning on July 1, 1982, and ending on December
31, 1987.

(2) The individual--

(A) is the lawful spouse of an individual described in paragraph (1); or

(B) is the former lawful spouse of an individual described in paragraph (1)
and was the lawful spouse of the individual at any time after a date,
within the period described in such subparagraph, on which the individual
was treated as described in such paragraph and through medical
documentation can assert reasonable certainty of transmission of HIV from
individual described in paragraph (1).

(3) The individual acquired the HIV infection through perinatal
transmission from a parent who is an individual described in paragraph (1)
or (2).

(b) CONDITIONS-The conditions described in this subsection are, with
respect to an individual, as follows:

(1) Submission of medical documentation of hiv infection-

(A) IN GENERAL-The individual submits to the Secretary written medical
documentation that demonstrates that--

(i) the individual has (or had) an HIV infection;

(ii) in the case of an individual described in subsection (a)(1), the
individual was treated with a blood transfusion , blood components, human
tissue, or organs (excluding anti-hemophiliac Factor) provided by a medical
professional in the United States during the period described in such
subsection;

(iii) prior to the treatment described in subparagraph (B), there was no
evidence of HIV infection with respect to the individual involved; and

(iv) a comprehensive physical examination, or HIV testing, was conducted
after the treatment described in subparagraph (B) and reveals evidence of
HIV infection, and that evidence, together with other medical records,
indicates the probable transmission of the HIV to the individual through
such treatment.

(B) WAIVERS-The Secretary may waive the requirements of subparagraph (A)
with respect to an individual if the Secretary determines that the
individual is unable to provide the documentation required under such
subparagraph because the documents involved were destroyed or otherwise
made unavailable as a result of the occurrence a natural disaster or other
circumstance beyond the control of the individual.

(2) PETITION-A petition for the payment is filed with the Secretary by or
on behalf of the individual.

(3) DETERMINATION-The Secretary determines, in accordance with section
103(b), that the petition meets the requirements of this title.

(4) FRAUD-Any individual who--

(A) knowingly and willfully makes or causes to be made any false statement
or representation of a material fact in connection with any documentation
provided under this subsection; or

(B) having knowledge of the occurrence of any event affecting his or her
initial or continued right to any payment under this title conceals or
fails to disclose such event with an intent fraudulently to secure such
payment;

shall be fined not more than $100,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5
years, or both.

SEC. 103. DETERMINATION AND PAYMENT.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF FILING PROCEDURES-The Secretary of Health and Human
Services shall establish procedures under which individuals may submit
petitions for payment under this title. The procedures shall include a
requirement that each petition filed under this Act include written medical
documentation that the relevant individual described in section 102(a)(1)
received the treatment described in such section.

(b) DETERMINATION-For each petition filed under this title, the Secretary
shall determine whether the petition meets the requirements of this title.

(c) Payment-

(1) IN GENERAL-To the extent there are sufficient amounts in the Fund to
cover each payment, the Secretary shall pay, from the Fund, each petition
that the Secretary determines meets the requirements of this title in the
order received.

(2) Payments in case of deceased individuals-

(A) IN GENERAL-In the case of an individual referred to in section 102(a)
who was diagnosed with AIDS and who is deceased at the time that payment is
made under this section on a petition filed by or on behalf of the
individual, the payment shall be made as follows:

(i) If the individual is survived by a spouse who is living at the time of
payment, the payment shall be made to such surviving spouse.

(ii) If the individual is not survived by a spouse described in clause (i),
the payment shall be made in equal shares to all children of the individual
who are living at the time of the payment.

(iii) If the individual is not survived by a person described in clause (i)
or (ii), the payment shall be made in equal shares to the parents of the
individual who are living at the time of the payment.

(iv) If the individual is not survived by a person described in clause (i),
(ii), or (iii), the payment shall revert back to the Fund.

(B) FILING OF PETITION BY SURVIVOR-If an individual eligible for payment
under section 102(a) dies before filing a petition under this title, a
survivor of the individual may file a petition for payment under this title
on behalf of the individual if the survivor may receive payment under
subparagraph (A).

(C) DEFINITIONS-For purposes of this paragraph:

(i) SPOUSE-The term `spouse' means an individual who was lawfully married
to the relevant individual at the time of death.

(ii) CHILD-The term `child' includes a recognized natural child, a
stepchild who lived with the relevant individual in a regular parent-child
relationship, and an adopted child.

(iii) PARENT-The term `parent' includes fathers and mothers through
adoption.

(3) TIMING OF PAYMENT-The Secretary may not make a payment on a petition
under this title before the expiration of the 120-day period beginning on
the date of the enactment of this Act or after the expiration of the 5-year
period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(d) ACTION ON PETITIONS-The Secretary shall complete the determination
required by subsection (b) regarding a petition not later than 120 days
after the date the petition is filed under this title.

(e) HUMANITARIAN NATURE OF PAYMENT-This Act does not create or admit any
claim of or on behalf of the individual against the United States or
against any officer, employee, or agent thereof acting within the scope of
employment or agency that relate to an HIV infection arising from a
treatment described in section 102(a)(1), at any time during the period
beginning on July 1, 1982, and ending on December 31, 1987. A payment under
this Act shall, however, when accepted by or on behalf of the individual,
be in full satisfaction of all such claims by or on behalf of that
individual.

(f) TERMINATION OF DUTIES OF SECRETARY-The duties of the Secretary under
this section shall cease when the Fund terminates.

(g) TREATMENT OF PAYMENTS UNDER OTHER LAWS-A payment under subsection (c)
(1) to an individual--

(1) shall be treated for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as
damages described in section 104(a)(2) of such Code;

(2) shall not be included as income or resources for purposes of
determining the eligibility of the individual to receive benefits described
in section 3803(c)(2)(C) of title 31, United States Code, or the amount of
such benefits, and such benefits shall not be secondary to, conditioned
upon reimbursement from, or subject to any reduction because of receipt of,
any such payment; and

(3) shall not be treated as a third party payment or payment in relation to
a legal liability with respect to such benefits and shall not be subject
(whether by subrogation or otherwise) to recover, recoupment,
reimbursement, or collection with respect to such benefits (including the
Federal or State governments or any entity that provides such benefits
under a contract).

(h) REGULATORY AUTHORITY-The Secretary may issue regulations necessary to
carry out this title.

(i) TIME OF ISSUANCE OF PROCEDURES-The Secretary shall, through the
promulgation of appropriate regulations, guidelines, or otherwise, first
establish the procedures to carry out this title not later than 120 days
after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 104. LIMITATION ON TRANSFER OF RIGHTS AND NUMBER OF PETITIONS.

(a) RIGHTS NOT ASSIGNABLE OR TRANSFERABLE-Any right under this title shall
not be assignable or transferable.

(b) ONE PETITION WITH RESPECT TO EACH VICTIM-With respect to each
individual described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 102(a), the
Secretary may not make payment with respect to more than one petition filed
in respect to an individual.

SEC. 105. TIME LIMITATION.

The Secretary may not make any payment with respect to any petition filed
under this title unless the petition is filed within 5 years after the date
of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 106. CERTAIN CLAIMS NOT AFFECTED BY PAYMENT.

A payment made under section 103(c)(1) shall not be considered as any form
of compensation, or reimbursement for a loss, for purposes of imposing
liability on the individual receiving the payment, on the basis of such
receipt, to repay any insurance carrier for insurance payments or to repay
any person on account of worker's compensation payments. A payment under
this title shall not affect any claim against an insurance carrier with
respect to insurance or against any person with respect to workers'
compensation.

SEC. 107. DEFINITIONS.

For purposes of this title:

(1) AIDS-The term `AIDS' means acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

(2) FUND-The term `Fund' means the Steve Grissom Relief Fund.

(3) HIV - The term `HIV' means human immunodeficiency virus.

(4) SECRETARY-Unless otherwise provided, the term `Secretary' means
Secretary of Health and Human Services.

TITLE II--TREATMENT OF CERTAIN PAYMENTS UNDER THE SSI PROGRAM

SEC. 201. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN PAYMENTS UNDER THE SSI PROGRAM.

(a) IN GENERAL-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the payments
described in subsection (b) shall not be considered income or resources in
determining eligibility for, or the amount of supplemental security income
benefits under, title XVI of the Social Security Act.

(b) GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS DESCRIBED-The payments described in this subsection
are payments made from the Fund established pursuant to section 101 of this
Act.
 

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