Text: H.R.1232 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/26/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1232


To authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to construct a full service hospital in Far South Texas.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 26, 2009

Mr. Ortiz (for himself, Mr. Hinojosa, Mr. Cuellar, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, and Mr. Doggett) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs


A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to construct a full service hospital in Far South Texas.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Far South Texas Veterans Medical Center Act of 2009”.

SEC. 2. Findings; definition.

(a) Findings.—Congress makes the following findings:

(1) 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.

(2) The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that more than 117,000 veterans reside in Far South Texas.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

(6) 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.

(b) Definition.—For purposes of this Act, the term “Far South Texas” means the following counties of the State of Texas: Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Crockett, DeWitt, Dimmit, Duval, Goliad, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Victoria, Webb, Willacy, and Zapata.

SEC. 3. Authorization of construction of major medical facility in Far South Texas.

(a) In general.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is authorized to carry out the construction of a major medical facility project in Far South Texas. The project shall consist of a full service Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, in an amount not to exceed $175,000,000.

(b) Facility location.—The facility referred to in subsection (a) shall be located in a county in Far South Texas that the Secretary determines to be most appropriate to meeting the health care needs of veterans in Far South Texas.

(c) Report.—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 determination of the Secretary under subsection (b) and a detailed estimate of the cost of and time necessary for completion of the project authorized under subsection (a).