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Military Legislation Status: It Did Not Get Done And Won’t Unless...

Written by veterans  |  22. December 2006

Following are bills of interest to veterans that were introduced but not passed in the 109th Congress that just ended. About The Bills At http://thomas.loc.gov/ you can determine the last status of each bill and if your legislator was a sponsor or cosponsor of the bill. This legislation, as it was not passed, died with the end of the 109th Congress. What You Can Do Concerned with legislation that was not passed? You need to encourage your Congress Members to reintroduce the bills in the 110th Congress which will convene January 7, 2006. To contact your Representative go to "Write Your Representative" (http://www.house.gov/writerep/), fill in your state and zip code, and follow the instructions. To contact our Senators, fill out the Web Forms for Senator Clinton (http://clinton.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm) and Senator Schumer (http://schumer.senate.gov/SchumerWebsite/contact/webform.cfm). If you should send this to someone not in New York, to contact their Senators they should go to "Senators of the 110th Congress" (http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm), select their state, and fill in the "Web Form" for both of their Senators. And, if you should put-in-a-plug for item 21, the 'Multiple Sclerosis' bill, you would be doing me and the many many other veterans like me, a big favor. The Bills That So Far Have "Died" 1) H.R.303: The 'Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2005' to permit certain additional retired members of the Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of their years of military service or Combat-Related Special Compensation, and, to eliminate the phase-in period under current law with respect to such concurrent receipt. 2) H.R.602: The 'Keep Our Promise to America's Military Retirees Act' to restore health care coverage to retired members of the uniformed services and their eligible dependents. House version of S.407. 3) H.R.808: The 'Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act' to repeal the offset from surviving spouse annuities under the military Survivor Benefit Plan for amounts paid by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC). 4) H.R.916: The 'Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2005' to repeal the Medicare outpatient rehabilitation therapy caps. 5) H.R.968: To change the effective date for paid-up coverage under the military Survivor Benefit Plan from October 1, 2008, to October 1, 2005. 6) H.R.994: To allow Federal civilian and military retirees to pay health insurance premiums on a pretax basis and to allow a deduction for TRICARE supplemental premiums. 7) H.R.995: The 'Combat Military Medically Retired Veteran's Fairness Act of 2005' to provide for the payment of Combat-Related Special Compensation under that title to members of the Armed Forces retired for disability with less than 20 years of active military service who were awarded the Purple Heart. 8) H.R.1364: The 'Equal Justice for Our Military Act' to enable the Supreme Court to review decisions in which the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces denied relief. 9) H.R.1366: The 'Combat-Related Special Compensation Act of 2005' to expand eligibility for Combat-Related Special Compensation paid by the uniformed services in order to permit certain additional retired members who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for that disability and Combat-Related Special Compensation by reason of that disability. 10) H.R.2076: The 'Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2005' to permit certain retired members of the uniformed services who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of their years of military service or Combat-Related Special Compensation. 11) H.R.2356: The 'Preserving Patient Access to Physicians Act of 2005' to reform the Medicare physician payment update system through repeal of the sustainable growth rate payment update system. 12) H.R.2962: The 'Atomic Veterans Relief Act' to revise the eligibility criteria for presumption of service-connection of certain diseases and disabilities for veterans exposed to ionizing radiation during military service, and for other purposes. 13) H.R.4259: The 'Veterans right to Know Act' to establish a Commission to investigate chemical or biological warfare tests or projects, especially such projects carried out between 1954 and 1973, placing particular emphasis on actions or conditions associated with such projects that could have contributed to health risks or been harmful to any United States civilian personnel or member of the United States Armed Forces who participated in such a project or who was otherwise potentially exposed to any biological or chemical agent, simulant, tracer, decontaminant, or herbicide as a result of such projects. 14) H.R.4949: The 'Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act' to prohibit increases in fees for military health care. 15) H.R.4992: The 'Veterans Medicare Assistance Act of 2006' to provide for Medicare reimbursement for health care services provided to Medicare-eligible veterans in facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs. 16) H.R.5881: The 'Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act' to eliminate the offset between military retired pay and veterans service-connected disability compensation for certain retired members of the Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability, and for other purposes. 17) H.R.6100: introduced the 'Military Education Enhancement Opportunities Act of 2006' to provide for certain servicemembers to become eligible for educational assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill. 18) S.185: The 'Military Retiree Survivor Benefit Equity Act of 2005' to repeal the requirement for the reduction of certain Survivor Benefit Plan annuities by the amount of dependency and indemnity compensation and to modify the effective date for paid-up coverage under the Survivor Benefit Plan. 19) S.407: The 'Keep Our Promise to America's Military Retirees Act' to restore health care coverage to retired members of the uniformed services and their eligible dependents. 20) S.484: To pay health insurance premiums on a pretax basis and to allow a deduction for TRICARE supplemental premiums. A related bill is H.R.994. 21) S.2147: The 'Multiple Sclerosis' bill to extend the 7 year time period during which a veteran's multiple sclerosis is to be considered to have been incurred in, or aggravated by, military service during a period of war. 22) S.2617: The 'Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act' to limit increases in the costs to retired members of the Armed Forces of health care services under the TRICARE program, and for other purposes. 23) S.2658: The 'National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act of 2006' to enhance the national defense through empowerment of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and the enhancement of the functions of the National Guard Bureau, and for other purposes. --- Regards, Walt Schmidt

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