S. 800: Treto Garza Far South Texas Veterans Inpatient Care Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Apr 24, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

II

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 800

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 24, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to theCommittee on Veterans' Affairs

A BILL

To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to ensure that the South Texas Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center at Harlingen, located in Harlingen, Texas, includes a full-service inpatient health care facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to redesignate such center, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Treto Garza Far South Texas Veterans Inpatient Care Act of 2013 .

2.

Inpatient health care facility at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility in Harlingen, Texas

(a)

Findings

Congressmakes the following findings:

(1)

The current and future health care needs of veterans residing in Far South Texas are not being fully met by theDepartment of Veterans Affairs.

(2)

According to recent census data, more than 108,000 veterans reside in Far South Texas.

(3)

Travel times for veterans from the Valley Coastal Bend area from their homes to the nearestDepartment of Veterans Affairshospital for acute inpatient health care can exceed six hours.

(4)

Even with the significant travel times, veterans from Far South Texas demonstrate a high demand for health care services from theDepartment of Veterans Affairs.

(5)

Ongoing overseas deployments of members of the Armed Forces from Texas, including members of the Armed Forces on active duty, members of the Texas National Guard, and members of the other reserve components of the Armed Forces, will continue to increase demand for medical services provided by theDepartment of Veterans Affairs.

(6)

TheDepartment of Veterans Affairsemploys an annual Strategic Capital Investment Planning process toenable the VA to continually adapt to changes in demographics, medical and information technology, and health care delivery, which results in the development of a multi-year investment plan that determines where gaps in services exist or are projected and develops an appropriate solution to meet those gaps.

(7)

According to theDepartment of Veterans Affairs, final approval of the Strategic Capital Investment Planning priority list serves as thebuilding blockof the annual budget request for theDepartment.

(8)

ArturoTretoGarza, a veteran who served in theMarine Corps, rose to the rank of Sergeant, and served two tours in the Vietnam War, passed away on October 3, 2012.

(9)

Treto Garza, who was also a former co-chairman of the Veterans Alliance of the Rio Grande Valley, tirelessly fought to improve health care services for veterans in the Rio Grande Valley, with his efforts successfully leading to the creation of the South Texas VA Health Care Center at Harlingen, located in Harlingen, Texas.

(b)

Redesignation of South Texas Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center

(1)

In general

The South Texas Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center at Harlingen, located in Harlingen, Texas, is redesignated as theTreto Garza South Texas Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center.

(2)

References

Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the medical facility of theDepartment of Veterans Affairsreferred to inparagraph (1)shall be deemed to be a reference to theTreto Garza South Texas Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center.

(c)

Requirement of full-Service inpatient facility

(1)

In general

TheSecretary of Veterans Affairsshall ensure that the Treto Garza South Texas Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center includes a full-service inpatient health care facility of theDepartmentand shall modify the existing facility as necessary to meet that requirement.

(2)

Plan to expand facility capabilities

TheSecretaryshall include in the annual Strategic Capital Investment Plan of theDepartmenta project to expand the capabilities of the Treto Garza South Texas Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center by adding the following:

(A)

Inpatient capability for 50 beds with appropriate administrative, clinical, diagnostic, and ancillary services needed for support.

(B)

An urgent care center.

(C)

The capability to provide a full range of services to meet the needs of women veterans.

(d)

Report to congress

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, theSecretaryshall submit to theCommittee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senateand theCommittee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representativesa report detailing a plan to implement the requirements insubsection (c), including an estimate of the cost of required actions and the time necessary for the completion of those actions.

(e)

Far South Texas defined

In this section, the termFar South Texasmeans the following counties in Texas: Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, DeWitt, Dimmit, Duval, Goliad, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Victoria, Webb, Willacy, Zapata.