Text: H.R.2629 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/09/2019)


116th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2629


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.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 9, 2019

Mr. Brindisi (for himself, Mr. Reschenthaler, Mr. Katko, and Mr. Meadows) introduced the following bill; which was 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.

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 “Care And Readiness Enhancement for Reservists Act of 2019” or the “CARE for Reservists Act of 2019”.

SEC. 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.

SEC. 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.”.

SEC. 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.”.

SEC. 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.


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