By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
House Committee Passes Six Veterans’ Health Care Measures
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Tuesday (May 15, 2007) by voice vote approved six veterans’ health care bills that would expand free care for war veterans, establish brain injury research centers and make chiropractic care more accessible, according to news reports.
One bill (HR 612), intended to provide free health care for returning troops would be expanded from two to five years. According to reports, HR 612 is geared toward veterans from the Persian Gulf War through present and future conflicts, aims to help those veterans who have health problems that appear years after they have completed military service. The committee by voice vote approved a substitute amendment to the legislation that would expand health care available retroactively to all veterans who meet the bill’s criteria, rather than only those veterans discharged after its enactment.
On traumatic brain injury research, the committee approved legislation (HR 2199) that would establish traumatic brain injury research centers and mandate a comprehensive program for providing care at Veterans Affairs health centers.
The bill (HR 1863) was approved by the committee. It would authorize mobile veterans’ centers to provide advice on disability claims processes.
The un-subluxated committee approved legislation (HR 1470) which would expand the availability of chiropractic care to 75 VA medical centers by 2009 and all VA medical centers by 2011. In addition, the committee approved legislation (HR 67) that would establish a grant program for state veterans’ outreach programs.
The House veterans affairs committee also approved legislation (HR 2239) that would expand eligibility for vocational rehabilitation to disabled troops not yet discharged from the military but who are likely to be discharged because of their condition. The committee on Tuesday also voted to refer back to subcommittee legislation (HR 2219) that would authorize $7.5 million to establish a 24-hour suicide prevention hot line, according to news reports.
The “Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act” was introduced in March of 2007 by US Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif. The bills are expected to come up on the House floor next week, when a day will be set aside by congressional leaders to focus on legislation to help veterans.
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