Summary: H.R.4768 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/29/2004)

Veterans Health Programs and Facilities Enhancement Act of 2004 - Title I: Medical Facilities Management - (Sec. 101) Authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts for major medical facility leases at specified locations. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2005 for the Medical Care account, to cover such leases.

Authorizes the Secretary to enter into a lease for real property at the Fitzsimons Campus of the University of Colorado for a period of up to 75 years.

(Sec. 102) Authorizes the Secretary to transfer Department of Veterans Affairs real property to another department or agency of the United States, to a State, or to any public or private entity, including Indian tribes. Terminates such authority seven years after the enactment of this Act.

Establishes in the Treasury the Department of Veterans Affairs Capital Asset Fund, which may be used for costs associated with: (1) current or future real property transfers under this Act; (2) the improvement of patient care facilities for veterans; and (3) the transfer, lease, or adaptive use of properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Authorizes appropriations for the Fund.

Terminates the nursing home revolving fund. Transfers unobligated balances to the Capital Asset Fund.

(Sec. 103) Requires a report from the Secretary to the congressional veterans' committees, in each of 2005 through 2007, on historic properties administered or controlled by the Secretary.

(Sec. 104) Authorizes the use of certain Department funds for the construction or relocation of surface parking lots incidental to construction or maintenance projects.

(Sec. 105) Removes the congressional review requirement otherwise applicable to the obligation of funds for major medical facilities where funds have been authorized by law.

(Se. 106) Specifies that the construction, alteration, repair, remodeling, or improvement of property under an enhanced-use lease is not subject to State or local land use laws unless otherwise provided by the Secretary.

(Sec. 107) Amends the Veterans Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act to extend through 2005 the authority for long-term care pilot programs established under such Act.

Title II: Other Matters - (Sec. 201) Makes eligible for use of the Veterans' Canteen Service veterans enrolled in the Department's patient enrollment system.

(Sec. 202) Directs the Secretary, within 90 days after the enactment of this Act, to establish a peer review panel to assess the scientific and clinical merits of various proposed sites for designation as Department medical emergency preparedness centers. Requires the: (1) Secretary to solicit proposals for such designation within 60 days after enactment of this Act; and (2) peer review panel to complete proposal review within 60 days thereafter. Authorizes appropriations for such centers for FY 2005 through 2007. Requires the Under Secretary for Health to allocate certain other Department funds for such centers.