On Tuesday, May 21, the Health Subcommittee of the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on a wide range of issues. One area covered was The Veterans Integrated Mental Health Care Act of 2013. This bill would offer more coordinated care, particularly for Veterans in rural areas. This bill, along with The Demanding Accountability for Veterans Act of 2013, are still in the stage of draft legislation. We will focus on them more closely upon their actual introduction.
Other bills addressed during this hearing included HR 241, which seeks to reduce the wait times for Veterans who require health care from The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); HR 288, which increases the age of eligibility for certain dependent children of veterans from 23 to 26; HR 984, which would study the effects of urotrauma on veterans (i.e., urinary tract infections as a result of force or chemical/biological blasts); and HR 1284, which would aid in covering the travel expenses incurred by Veterans who require various forms of medical treatment connected to their service.
NASW will continue to report on this bills if and when they advance through Congress.