A cost-cutting measure sure to resonate with all Americans requires a simple legislative fix by adding, “. . .and any other Federal law enforcement agency, or Federal correctional or penal institution, to include the Federal Bureau of Prisons. . .” to an existing statue. This simple fix will save $1 billion in less than five years and thereafter achieve $240 million in annual recurring costs.
Title 18 U.S.C. § 4006, as amended by Public Law 106-113, authorizes the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), DHS, and the FBI to pay for health care services provided to federal prisoners at the Medicare rate. The BOP, responsibile for managing the largest federal prisoner population, opted out of the 1999 legislation and has not sought inclusion through an amendment.
The proposed legislative fix insures payment on health care services includes the entire federal prisoner population and more importantly, does not exceed rates applied to law-abiding Americans who may be Medicare recipients. For more than a decade, the USMS has been operating a Federal prisoner network of health care providers that has saved hundreds of millions of dollars, with tens of millions of dollars in recurring annual savings. These reductions are occurring in the very same cities, often by many of the same providers, where BOP is paying up to three times the Medicare rate for identical services.
It is important to note that this simple legislative fix, similar to private insurance standards, will result in consolidation of health care services. It will offer BOP the opportunity to join established USMS and/or DHS contracts to create a larger member group. Annual recurring savings would increase more than a projected 300%, from the current USMS annual average savings of $60 million to more than $240 million every year thereafter. These savings do not consider those already achieved by DHS.
I propose a legislative fix to include BOP in subsection (b)(1) of the statue will achieve a savings of $1 billion.