H.R. 3607 would authorize (but not require) the National Park Service (NPS) to collect fees for medical services provided within the National Park System in addition to any payments it already receives for such services. The bill would establish a separate fund in the Treasury in which to deposit those new collections. Under the bill, the deposited amounts would be available to the NPS to the extent provided in advance by appropriation acts for medical services within the National Park System and to upgrade medical facilities and equipment.
According to the NPS, the agency typically contracts out the operation of its medical clinics, but operates medical clinics in 11 system units where third parties choose not to compete for contracts to do that work. The NPS pays for medical costs at those facilities, which total about $4 million a year, using a mix of appropriated funds and direct spending of collections from park entrance fees and concession franchise fees. CBO expects that under the bill, the NPS would continue to operate clinics using funds from the same sources, in addition to any amounts that would be collected under this bill and thereafter appropriated.
Under current law, the NPS does not have the authority to retain and spend payments it receives for medical services from people or insurance providers. Those offsetting receipts (about $2 million a year) are treated as reductions in direct spending and deposited into the general fund of the Treasury.
Enacting H.R. 3607 could increase offsetting receipts. How or whether the proposed fees would be collected is unclear, however CBO estimates that those increases would not be significant. Because enacting the bill could affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
CBO expects that the NPS would incur administrative costs associated with collecting those fees. Based on the costs for similar activities, CBO estimates that those costs would be less than $500,000 annually; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Any appropriation of the newly collected funds also would increase spending by less than $500,000, CBO estimates.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3607 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
H.R. 3607 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.