Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4799 (ih) To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals a credit against income tax for medical expenses for dependents. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 4799 (ih) To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals a credit against income tax for medical expenses for dependents. [Introduced in House] ...

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  2d Session
                                H. R. 4798

  To improve post-traumatic stress disorder treatment for veterans of 
         service in Afghanistan and Iraq and the war on terror.



                              July 9, 2004

   Mr. Ford introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
  Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on 
   Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


                                 A BILL

  To improve post-traumatic stress disorder treatment for veterans of 
         service in Afghanistan and Iraq and the war on terror.

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


    This Act may be cited as the ``Enhancement of Veterans Mental 
Health Services Act''.


    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) A study published in the New England Journal of 
        Medicine reported that about one in six soldiers of the Iraq 
        war displays symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
            (2) Clinical experts are anticipating an increase in the 
        number of post-traumatic stress disorder cases in light of the 
        increasing duration of military deployment.
            (3) 86 of 163 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical 
        Centers have post-traumatic stress disorder treatment programs.
            (4) Section 1706 of title 38, United States Code, requires 
        that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs ensure, in accordance 
        with that section, that the Department of Veterans Affairs 
        maintains its capacity to provide for the specialized treatment 
        and rehabilitative needs of disabled veterans within distinct 
        programs or facilities of the Deparment.


    (a) Enhanced Capacity for Department of Veterans Affairs.--
            (1) Authorization of appropriations.--There is authorized 
        to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for 
        ``Medical Care'' the amount of $100,000,000 for the employment 
        of additional psychiatrists and other mental health services 
        specialists at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers 
        and outpatient facilities specializing in the diagnosis and 
        treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
            (2) Allocation of funds.--Funds made available pursuant to 
        the authorization of appropriations in paragraph (1) shall, to 
        the extent funds are available for such purpose, be used to 
        employ at least one psychiatrist and a complementary clinical 
        team at each medical center of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs in order to conduct a specialized program for the 
        diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and 
        to employ additional mental health services specialists at the 
        medical center.
    (b) Outreach at the Community Level.--
            (1) Program.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, 
        within the authorities of the Secretary under title 38, United 
        States Code, carry out a program to provide outreach at the 
        community level to veterans who participated in Operation Iraqi 
        Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom who are or may be 
        suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
            (2) Program sites.--The program shall be carried out on a 
        nation-wide basis through facilities of the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs.
            (3) Program content.--The program shall provide for 
        individualized case management to be conducted on a one-on-one 
        basis, counseling, education, and group therapy to help 
        participants cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. The 
                    (A) shall emphasize early identification of 
                veterans who may be experiencing symptoms of post-
                traumatic stress disorder; and
                    (B) shall include group-oriented, peer-to-peer 
                settings for treatment.
            (4) Program model.--The Secretary shall establish and carry 
        out the program under this subsection using as a model the 
        program for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder 
        conducted at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center 
        in Memphis, Tennessee.


    (a) Review of Mental Health Programs.--The Secretary of each 
military department shall conduct a comprehensive review of the mental 
health care programs of the Armed Forces under the jurisdiction of that 
Secretary in order to determine ways to improve the efficacy of such 
care, including a review of joint Department of Defense and Department 
of Veterans Affairs clinical guidelines to ensure a seamless delivery 
of care during transitions from active duty or reserve status to 
civilian life.
    (b) Report to Congress.--The Secretary of Defense shall submit to 
Congress a report setting forth the results of such review not later 
than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.


    The Secretary of each military department shall take special care 
in providing for as seamless a transition as possible from Department 
of Defense health care services to Department of Veterans Affairs 
health care services in the case of members of the Armed Forces who are 
being discharged or separated from active duty and who have been 
identified by the Secretary as having been exposed to combat or 
otherwise as being at particular risk for post-traumatic stress 


    The Secretary of each military department and the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs shall assess privacy and patient confidentiality 
standards and practices of their respective departments to ensure that 
those standards and practices are adequate to protect the privacy of 
patients, particularly in the case of patients seeking treatment for 
post-traumatic stress disorder. Each of those Secretaries shall also 
assess and identify other factors that may deter members of the Armed 
Forces and veterans from seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress 

Pages: 1

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