Summary: H.R.3499 — 97th Congress (1981-1982)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
House agreed to Senate amendment with amendment (10/02/1981)

(House agreed to Senate amendments with amendments)

Veterans' Health Care, Training, and Small Business Loan Act of 1981 - Title I: Health Care - Extends from December 31, 1981, to September 30, 1982, the authority of the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to contract for hospital care or medical services in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands without reference to patient loads or incidence of provision of medical services for veterans treated by the Veterans' Administration in the contiguous 48 states.

Entitles to hospital, nursing home, and domiciliary care those veterans disabled by exposure to: (1) dioxin or any other toxic substance found in a herbicide while serving on active duty in Vietnam; or (2) radiation while participating in a nuclear weapons test while serving in the line of duty. Sets a time limit on the provision of such care.

Measures the eligibility period for outpatient dental services for military personnel from the date of subsequent discharge from military service for a person who reenters active service within one year from such person's prior discharge.

Extends through September 30, 1984 (three additional years) the period during which Vietnam-era veterans may initially request psychological readjustment counseling.

Requires the Administrator during the final year of such program to provide for and report to Congress on an orderly transition of such program to Veterans' Administration health care facilities.

Entitles the United States to recover the costs of certain medical care and services furnished to a veteran for a non-service-connected disability when such disability is covered by another form of insurance or compensation. Sets forth the formula and procedure for the United States' recovery against the insurer or other entity. Subrogates the United States to the rights of such veteran.

Extends through September 30, 1986, the period during which the President may authorize the Administrator to make payments for hospital care and medical services in the Veterans Memorial Center in the Philippines for eligible U.S. veterans. Authorizes appropriations for fiscal years 1982 through 1986 to make grants to such Center for the replacement and upgrading of equipment and the rehabilitation of the facilities.

Reduces the minimum number of hospital and nursing home beds the Administration must establish in medical facilities of the Veterans Administration. Requires the Administrator to maintain a contingency capacity to assist the Department of Defense in time of war or national emergency. Requires the Chief Medical Director to analyze annually, rather than periodically, agencywide admissions policies and the records of eligible veterans who apply for care but are rejected or not given immediate attention. Requires the Director to review the adequacy and geographic distribution of operating beds and the demographic characteristics of the veteran population. Directs the Administrator to report annually to the appropriate Congressional committees.

Title II: Vocational Training and GI Educational Assistance Programs - Extends the delimiting period for educational assistance for specified Vietnam-era veterans for vocational training.

Extends through September 30, 1984 (three additional years) the Vietnam-era veterans' readjustment appointments in the Federal Government.

Title III: Small Business Loans - Veterans Small Business Loan Act of 1981 - Permits the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to provide financial assistance to a small business concern which is at least 51 percent owned by veterans of the Vietnam era or disabled veterans. Authorizes such assistance, in the form of loan guaranties or direct loans, for financing plant construction or expansion, the acquisition of equipment or supplies, or supplying the concern with working capital. Sets forth restrictions and the liability of the Administrator in the provision of such assistance.

Requires each individual with an ownership interest in such a veterans' small business concern to execute a document evidencing the loan and makes such individual jointly and severally liable to the Administrator for any amount paid by the Administrator on such loan. Requires the approval of the Administrator before the closing of the loan. Limits the terms of such loans to ten years, except for construction and other related loans. Grants special consideration to disabled veterans.

Establishes in the Treasury the Veterans' Administration Business Loan Revolving Fund. Directs the Administrator to transfer any surplus funds into the general fund. Sets forth the powers of the Administrator for the administration of this program. Prohibits the commitment of assistance after September 30, 1986. Makes technical amendments.

Authorizes appropriations for fiscal years 1982-1986 to assist the Administrator in the establishment of the small business loan program.

Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the Veterans Health Programs Extension and Improvement Act of 1979 to permit the expansion of the scope of the epidemiological study of the health effects of Agent Orange to include: (1) an evaluation of the long term adverse health (including genetic and psychological) effects in humans serving in the armed forces of the United States in Vietnam during the Vietnamese conflict, or other factors involved in such service, including exposure to other herbicides, chemicals, medications, or environmental hazards or conditions; and (2) the means of detecting and treating such effects. Permits the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to include such factors and treatment within the scope of the ongoing analysis and review of the literature covering other studies relating to the effects of Agent Orange.

Directs the Administrator to prescribe regulations establishing guidelines, standards, and criteria for resolving claims for benefits establishing exposure to Agent Orange and such other factors during such other conflict.

Amends the Veterans' Disability Compensation and Housing Benefits Amendments of 1980 to repeal a provision modifying the way in which employees working on a less than full-time basis in the Veterans' Administration's Department of Medicine and Surgery receive credit for such employment when their civil service annuities are computed.