July 17, 1996 - Issue: Vol. 142, No. 105 — Daily Edition104th Congress (1995 - 1996) - 2nd Session
EXTENDING BENEFITS TO VETERANS EXPOSED TO AGENT ORANGE; Congressional Record Vol. 142, No. 105
(Extensions of Remarks - July 17, 1996)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E1304-E1305] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] EXTENDING BENEFITS TO VETERANS EXPOSED TO AGENT ORANGE ______ speech of HON. JACK QUINN of new york in the house of representatives Tuesday, July 16, 1996 Mr. QUINN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3643 and to commend my fellow members of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee for their hard work this year. I am pleased to be a member of a committee that has put forth many beneficial revisions for our Nation's veterans. I especially want to thank Chairman Bob Stump for his tenacious advocacy for servicemen and women and his fine ability to expedite veterans' legislation. H.R. 3643 improves health care delivery to minority groups within our Nation's veterans population such as women veterans and those who served the country in the Persian Gulf war. The bill also includes provisions which I introduced earlier this year. For one, the bill extends priority healthcare to those service men and women who were stationed in Israel and Turkey during the Persian Gulf war from August 2, 1990 to July 31, 1991. Currently, veterans of these regions are experiencing undiagnosed medical problems similar to those who served in the theater of operations. Israel experienced repeated SCUD attacks. Military members stationed in Turkey supported aircraft missions into the Persian Gulf, served as a transportation point for returning personnel and equipment and rendered assistance to the Kurds. Thus, the possibility for contamination or exposure by military members stationed in Turkey and Israel was extremely high. Medical records of many veterans stationed in and around the Persian Gulf fail to accurately identify medications distributed and inoculations administered. Since no definitive diagnosis has been determined in the cases of Persian Gulf illness, these veterans stationed in Turkey and Israel exhibiting similar medical problems should also be granted health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This provision is a technical correction, since these countries should have been included in the original bill. [[Page E1305]] The bill also includes a provision to set mammography quality standards. Women make up 5 percent of the veterans' population. While the veterans' population is decreasing, female representation is increasing. As a society, we must quickly adapt to this change and better serve women veterans. I am pleased to see that we were able to work in a bipartisan fashion to make improvements in women's health care services. ____________________