H. R. 1318
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 1, 2011
Mr. Cuellar (for himself, Mr. Hinojosa, and Mr. Farenthold) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to expand the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility in Far South Texas, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
South Texas Veterans Health Care
Congress makes the following findings:
The current and future health care needs of veterans residing in the Far South Texas area are not being fully met by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that more than 117,000 veterans reside in Far South Texas.
The 2010 census identified Far South Texas as the fastest growing region in the State of Texas. According to figures obtained from the United States Army Accessions Command, Texas is the number one source of military recruits among all States. Texas is also the largest provider of National Guard and Reserve members to current overseas military deployments. These factors make it a certainty that the veteran population in Far South Texas will increase substantially in the coming years.
In its Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services study, the Department of Veterans Affairs found that fewer than three percent of its enrollees in the Valley-Coastal Bend Market of Veterans Integrated Service Network 17 reside within its acute hospital access standards.
Travel times for veterans from the market referred to in paragraph (3) can exceed six hours from their residences to the nearest Department of Veterans Affairs hospital for acute inpatient health care.
Even with the significant travel times, veterans from Far South Texas demonstrate a high demand for health care services from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Current deployments involving members of the Texas National Guard and Reservists from Texas will continue to increase demand for medical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Authorization of construction of Department of Veterans Affairs major medical facility in Far South Texas
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall include in the Strategic Capital Investment Plan of the Department of Veterans Affairs a project to expand the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility in Far South Texas, by adding to the facility the following:
An urgent care center.
Inpatient capability for 50 beds with appropriate administrative, clinical, diagnostic, and ancillary services needed for support.
The capability to provide a full range of services to meet the need of female veterans.
The capability to provide caregiver support services, including an adult day care providing caregiver respite.
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report identifying and outlining the detailed estimate of the cost of and time necessary for completion of the project authorized under subsection (a).
For purposes of this Act, the term
Far South Texas means the following counties of the State of
Texas: Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, DeWitt, Dimmit, Duval, Goliad,
Hidalgo, Jackson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kennedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, San
Patricio, Starr, Victoria, Webb, Willacy, and Zapata.