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Concerning Health-Related Bills H.R. 2818, H.R. 5730, H.R. 5554, H.R. 5595, H.R. 5622 And Draft Bills Before the Subcommittee on Health United States House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

April 15, 2008

On behalf of the members of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and their families, we appreciate being afforded the opportunity to offer testimony on the health-related legislation up for consideration before the distinguished members of the Subcommittee on Health.

H.R. 2818: This bill would provide for the establishment of Epilepsy Centers of Excellence in the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

H.R. 5730: This bill, direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to display in each prosthetic and orthotic clinic of the Department of Veterans Affairs an Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights.

H.R. 5554: The goal of the “Veterans Substance Use Disorders Prevention and Treatment Act of 2008” is to “expand and improve” healthcare services available to veterans from the VA for substance use disorders. This is laudable and doable. H.R. 5554 ought to be enacted and action taken by the VA to immediately adapt to its provisions. And we applaud the provision in this bill that “report(s) an assessment of the feasibility and advisability of the pilot program, of any cost savings or other benefits associated with the pilot program, and recommendations for the continuation or expansion of the pilot program.”

H.R. 5595: The sweetly-titled “Make Our Veterans Smile Act of 2008” would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide dental care to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

H.R. 5622: The “Veterans Timely Access to Health Care Act” would, if enacted, set in motion a pilot program “to establish standards of access to care for veterans seeking health care from certain Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.”

“Spina Bifida Health Care Program Expansion Act”: This bill is a sensible update, taking into account that a child afflicted with spina bifida is no longer a child and hence may need a variety of additional medical interventions and healthcare services.

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