skip to main content

S. 711: CARE for Reservists Act of 2019

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 7, 2019 (Introduced).


II

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 711

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 7, 2019

(for himself, Mr. Moran, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Sullivan, Ms. Hassan, Mr. Cassidy, Mr. Manchin, Mr. Tillis, and Mr. Sanders) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand eligibility for mental health services from the Department of Veterans Affairs to include members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Care and Readiness Enhancement for Reservists Act of 2019 or the CARE for Reservists Act of 2019.

2.

Expansion of eligibility for readjustment counseling and related outpatient services from the Department of Veterans Affairs to include members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces

(a)

Readjustment counseling

Subsection (a)(1) of section 1712A of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(D)
(i)

The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, may furnish to any member of the reserve components of the Armed Forces who has a behavioral health condition or psychological trauma, counseling under subparagraph (A)(i), which may include a comprehensive individual assessment under subparagraph (B)(i).

(ii)

A member of the reserve components of the Armed Forces described in clause (i) shall not be required to obtain a referral before being furnished counseling or an assessment under this subparagraph.

.

(b)

Outpatient services

Subsection (b) of such section is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)—

(A)

by inserting to an individual after If, on the basis of the assessment furnished; and

(B)

by striking veteran each place it appears and inserting individual; and

(2)

in paragraph (2), by striking veteran and inserting individual.

(c)

Effective Date

The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date that is one year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

3.

Provision of mental health services from the Department of Veterans Affairs to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces

(a)

In general

Subchapter VIII of chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

1789.

Mental health services for members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces

The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, may furnish mental health services to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 17 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1788 the following new item:

1789. Mental health services for members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

.

4.

Inclusion of members of reserve components in mental health programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs

(a)

Suicide prevention program

(1)

In general

Section 1720F of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(l)
(1)

Covered individual defined

In this section, the term covered individual means a veteran or a member of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

(2)

In determining coverage of members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces under the comprehensive program, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Defense.

.

(2)

Conforming amendments

Such section is further amended—

(A)

in subsection (a), by striking veterans and inserting covered individuals;

(B)

in subsection (b), by striking veterans each place it appears and inserting covered individuals;

(C)

in subsection (c)—

(i)

in the subsection heading, by striking of veterans;

(ii)

by striking veterans each place it appears and inserting covered individuals; and

(iii)

by striking veteran and inserting individual;

(D)

in subsection (d), by striking to veterans each place it appears and inserting to covered individuals;

(E)

in subsection (e), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking veterans and inserting covered individuals;

(F)

in subsection (f)—

(i)

in the first sentence, by striking veterans and inserting covered individuals; and

(ii)

in the second sentence, by inserting or members after veterans;

(G)

in subsection (g), by striking veterans and inserting covered individuals;

(H)

in subsection (h), by striking veterans and inserting covered individuals;

(I)

in subsection (i)—

(i)

in the subsection heading, by striking for veterans and families;

(ii)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking veterans and the families of veterans and inserting covered individuals and the families of covered individuals;

(iii)

in paragraph (2), by striking veterans and inserting covered individuals; and

(iv)

in paragraph (4), by striking veterans each place it appears and inserting covered individuals;

(J)

in subsection (j)—

(i)

in paragraph (1), by striking veterans each place it appears and inserting covered individuals; and

(ii)

in paragraph (4)—

(I)

in subparagraph (A), in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking women veterans and inserting covered individuals who are women;

(II)

in subparagraph (B), by striking women veterans who and inserting covered individuals who are women and; and

(III)

in subparagraph (C), by striking women veterans and inserting covered individuals who are women; and

(K)

in subsection (k), by striking veterans and inserting covered individuals.

(3)

Clerical amendments

(A)

In general

Such section is further amended, in the section heading, by inserting and members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces after veterans.

(B)

Table of sections

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 17 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to section 1720F and inserting the following new item:

1720F. Comprehensive program for suicide prevention among veterans and members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

.

(b)

Mental health treatment for individuals who served in classified missions

(1)

In general

Section 1720H of such title is amended—

(A)

in subsection (a)—

(i)

in paragraph (1)—

(I)

by striking eligible veteran and inserting eligible individual; and

(II)

by striking the veteran and inserting the individual; and

(ii)

in paragraph (3), by striking eligible veterans and inserting eligible individuals;

(B)

in subsection (b)—

(i)

by striking a veteran and inserting an individual; and

(ii)

by striking eligible veteran and inserting eligible individual; and

(C)

in subsection (c)—

(i)

in paragraph (2), in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking The term eligible veteran means a veteran and inserting The term eligible individual means a veteran or a member of the reserve components of the Armed Forces; and

(ii)

in paragraph (3), by striking eligible veteran and inserting eligible individual.

(2)

Clerical amendments

(A)

In general

Such section is further amended, in the section heading, by inserting and members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces after veterans.

(B)

Table of sections

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 17 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to section 1720H and inserting the following new item:

1720H. Mental health treatment for veterans and members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces who served in classified missions.

.

5.

Report on mental health and related services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to members of the Armed Forces

(a)

In general

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report that includes an assessment of the following:

(1)

The increase, as compared to the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, of the number of members of the Armed Forces that use readjustment counseling or outpatient mental health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, disaggregated by State, Vet Center location, and clinical care site of the Department, as appropriate.

(2)

The number of members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces receiving telemental health care from the Department.

(3)

The increase, as compared to the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, of the annual cost associated with readjustment counseling and outpatient mental health care provided by the Department to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

(4)

The changes, as compared to the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, in staffing, training, organization, and resources required for the Department to offer readjustment counseling and outpatient mental health care to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

(5)

Any challenges the Department has encountered in providing readjustment counseling and outpatient mental health care to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

(b)

Vet Center defined

In this section, the term Vet Center has the meaning given that term in section 1712A(h) of title 38, United States Code.